Monday, September 29, 2008

Abort The Mission

When a tiny life growing inside our swelling belly jeopardizes the life that sustains it how do we make that choice?

Recently I began my yearly coordinator role as the pro-life scheduler for the booth at our local fair. It was a role that my mother filled for 30 years and a position I feel proud to inherit. This year I decided to take a 3 hour shift myself in addition to coordinating the other volunteers. As a result I was introduced to a wonderful mixture of people. Expectant mothers, proud grandparents, remorseful women, curious individuals, skeptics and protesters.

Later in the day I was visited by a young teenage boy. His name was Seth and he was 16 years old. At first I overlooked Seth as he grazed past the booth fumbling through the literature as a lot of other teenagers had done with no real interest or understanding. I focused more on women because most of the time once the younger men figured out what the booth was about, they moved on quickly. They almost seemed embarrassed and confused but Seth was different.

Seth continued to linger at the booth until I offered a pamplet. He then pointed to the monitor we had playing and asked about the ultrasound videos with sincere curiosity. Seth took notice of our baby stages display and asked the age of the oldest display. I told him that was the approximate size of a 30 week old baby. That's when Seth told me he was born at that age.
His mother was diagnosed with cancer early in the pregnancy and the doctor pressured her to abort so she could begin radiation and chemotherapy or else she and the babies wouldn't make it. Seth was a twin and his mother sadly lost one of the twins as her pregnancy progressed. Seth's mom refused to abort and carried Seth until he was prematurely born. His only side effect today is asthma. Seth was the most articulate, well spoken 16 year old I've ever had the pleasure of conversating with and that includes my own 15 year old son.
Seth's mother was running the ice cream booth a few doors down and later that day I found myself there complimenting her on the spectacular job she had done so far with her son.
I said to Seth's mom,
"I hope my own son is that clear, articulate, passionate and educated about his own personal beliefs in the future as your son is at such a young age."

No matter what you believe stand strong and be educated in your convictions. I may not agree with you, others may not agree but we will respect your opinion much more if you are steadfast and educated in your belief. You will respect my belief in return if I am passionate and educated about the subject I speak about.

Seth is a belief. He's a living, breathing example of what I believe about abortion. Seth and his mother are miracles. They both survived a situation that doctors believed were deathly for both parties. Seth will be an addition to our society and because of that his mother's decision not to abort the mission was a good one. Life is fragile. Consider every decision you make carefully and use your heart.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

When I Was a Child

When I was a child, we made our popcorn on the stove with oil and a skillet. We enjoyed watching the popcorn push the lid up as the kernels swelled in the pan.

When I was a child, color bars and tone filled the television after midnight before snow would appear confirming it was bedtime for the surrounding community.

When I was a child, we made sure we had plenty of batteries, milk and gas before Christmas Eve because all stores were closed afterwards.

When I was a child, our television only received three channels so we spent hours outdoors inventing new games and riding bikes.

When I was a child, we were expected to stay in line not online. A mouse had a heartbeat and a web was something we frequently walked into on a warm summer day. Surfing involved water and an apple was something you ate.

When I was a child, the sun seemed to warm my face a little more and the rain seemed to fall a little more lightly. Rainbows seemed to have a little more color. Birds sang a little sweeter.

When I was a child...time passed quickly. I fell asleep as a child and woke as a mother. We make popcorn in the microwave, television is available every hour of the day, we are free to buy batteries on Christmas Day, we receive 97 channels, and my children stay online surfing the web with a mouse.

However, when I was a mother, the same sun warmed my children's face and the same rain fell lightly. Rainbows still seem vibrant and they are excited by the song of a bird.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Flies Can't Swim But They Sure Can Float

When my teenage son was a young boy he often spent his time outside with nature. He found excitement in discovering new creatures and snatching up creepy crawlies to show me. Garret often burst through the door with some squiggly insect frantically wiggling in hopes of breaking free from the grip of a five-year-old boy. I would agree to keep it in a jar for a few days before insisting on setting it free.
These bugs were very resilient as they found a way to survive the grasp of a child and days in a jar without proper food or water before being released. Garret had not experienced death yet and at the time I wasn't sure how he would react when it did happen.

One hot summer day I made lunch for Garret and his little brother. After eating their sandwiches and macaroni and finishing most of their juice, it was time to for little brother to lay down for a nap while Garret went outside to play. After thirty minutes or so of playing outdoors, he returned from the front yard looking for his juice. A few moments later he found me with his cup in hand.
Holding his cup up, he asked me to look inside. I leaned over and peered into the cup. There was a single fly in the center of the juice.
"Look," he said to me. I looked and nodded my head as I started to tell him to pour it out.
"It's a fly," he replied to my nod.
I nodded again in agreement as I watched the fly slosh around in his cup and wondered if he had drank from the cup before discovering it. As Garret stretched his arms to get the cup closer to me, I watched as the soggy fly flipped over showing its underbelly and limp little fly legs.
Before I could respond Garret held his cup as high as he could.
"Flies can't swim but they sure can float!"

Over ten years later I still remember the sound in his voice as he excitedly revealed his newest discovery.
Anytime I've faced a difficult time since then those words come back to me and I lay back and begin to float. Life hasn't killed me yet so when I don't have the strength to swim anymore, I roll over and float until my strength returns...or until someone pours me down the drain!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


When you were born a flame was lit
A love was born that would not wilt
And inside my heart this fire grew
As my heart swelled with love for you.

And as time passed another came
And with that spark another flame
A flame that swelled my heart as well
You grabbed my heart and cast your spell.

A few years passed and another spark
Caused this flame to light the dark
Another chamber was brought to light
As I saw your eyes and found new sight.

The last to strike this fire of mine
Would ignite this love without any sign
I wasn't sure how or where to start
But you lit the fourth chamber of my heart.