Monday, 7 July 2014
Pray for D in the hospital with an obstruction. Pray for S who needs surgery on her knee and cannot go anywhere. Pray for S and R who need healing. Pray for S's daughter to continued to be healed. Pray for four couples who want children to be graced with such.
|Falconer assisted suicide bill, urgent action needed|
Please write (send letters by post) to Peers (members of the House of Lords) asking them to oppose the bill.
To receive a list of suggested Peers to whom you can write, please send an email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "Peer list request".
Please ask as many people as possible to write to Peers. Short, preferably hand-written letters, relating personal experiences and concerns, are likely to be most effective. We believe they are likely to be much more effective in this instance than sending e-mails.
The Falconer bill poses a major threat at this time because the composition of the House of Lords has changed markedly in recent years, with many more 'Cameron' appointees reflecting anti-life attitudes. Although previous bills, such as Lord Joffe's bill, have been defeated in the Lords, this vote could be much closer.
Bishop Mark Davies in a pastoral letter calling for opposition to the bill recalls the major conflicts of last century and says:
"Whilst we recall the heroism of generations before us, we must not fail to recog¬nise the great challenge for our own genera¬tion. We are now being called upon to defend the sanctity of human life amidst the growing threats against it."Please write to Peers, and encourage others to write, opposing the Falconer bill. We would be most grateful to receive copies of replies from peers who indicate whether they intend to support or oppose the bill.
On the day of the Lords' Second Reading, the Care Not Killing Alliance is organising an event in Parliament Square and SPUC supporters are encouraged to attend. Please contact CNK for details: 020 7234 9680 or via their website http://www.
Read a detailed critique of the Falconer bill by Rev. Dr. John Fleming.
Nurses Opposed to Euthanasia (NOE), a group within SPUC, has also published a critique.
Further briefing information is available on the Care Not Killing website at:http://www.carenotkilling.org.
Massie refused to speak with Matt, saying it was so upsetting, and why did Sally have to move so far away, she asked?
Matt did not share the conversation with Sally, who could have warned him of the result. Matt then phoned John and James. Both said their work schedules did not allow them to get away at this time, but James said Bobbie might come down, might.
John told Matt that Sally did not want to be part of the family, as she showed by not attending the last family gathering. Matt's patience became so strained that he politely shortened the conversation and plopped down in a chair. Abbey walked in with coffee. Sally was asleep in the spare room. "Poor responses?"
"Lies, as usual," said Matt slowly. "Why do they have to lie? Just say, we do not like Sally, we do not love Sally, and we are not coming."
"Why do they lie?" Abbey sat down. She could feel the Baby kicking.
"People lie because there is a lie somewhere, buried in their hearts and souls so deep, they no longer see the lie. Somewhere, they turned to a lie rather than turning to a truth, and in that turn, they forgot the way, the roadmap."
Matt began to cry. But, he knew he would never change his family. He knew all he could do was to love in truth and not in pretense. Love is not love if is not based on reality.
to be continued..
Sally was hardly ever sick. Massie was never sick. Duke was never sick. Sally wondered why they were Catholics, sometimes, and not Christian Scientists, as her CS friends were never sick.
Illness for Massie created shame. Only poor people got ill, or people who sinned, or people who made huge errors in their life decisions.
Cancer could not be mentioned, at all, so Sally told no one of her prognosis. Sally's doctor sent her to Mayo, which was close. The doctors there agreed with all the tests in Madison, Acute myelogenous leukemia. Sally wanted to tell Matt and Abbey, but Baby was on the way and she did not want to upset them. But, this morning, in December, Sally realized she was acting like the other family members, who never shared information about illnesses. She only found out about John's heart attack only after the fact. And, Duke never told any one of his ear problem. Matt found out by accident.
That Sally's cancer could be connected to genetic influences, crossed her mind. Yes, she would tell Matt. Matt and Abbey had decided to have their first Christmas on their own. Massie and Duke complained to John and James that Matt never visited anymore. But, the young couple wanted to attend their own Latin Mass parish and have a few single friends over for Abbey's sumptuous dinner. Matt phoned Sally to invite her. She told him the bad news.
"I am sorry I did not tell you right away, Matt. You know how it is, but I start chemo next week."
Matt held back tears. Sally was his real mom, his best friend after Abbey. He could not believe his good sister would have to fact this disease alone.
"I can come up and be with you in January. I can take two weeks off, really. Or, do you want to move down here? We can make room."
Sally smiled. Here was the dad-to-be dividing up space in a condo already too small for three. "No, Matt. Let me try to make it through here. Frieda can accompany me on some days. Really. I shall email you or she will, daily."
Matt put Sally on speaker phone and Abbey joined in. "Sally, get yourself down here. We can all manage. Please consider this. Baby is not due until May."
Sally really wanted to move out of Madison and live in Houston, but she was too tired, too weak for such a move.
"Let me see how it goes. Please. Have some Masses said for me, please."
What Sally did not share was that she was feeling moody about her time in Houston when Hans and she would meet for dates. That was a long time ago, but for some reason, memories flooded her inner vision, and she had to make a mental effort to forget him. She prayed to God to take away her memory, and to heal her imagination. Hans was no longer part of her life. Period.
Frieda proved to me resourceful and organized. She could arrange her schedule at the University to take Sally to chemotherapy. Sally's doctor discussed the possibility of blood transfusions. Sally had to think about this. She was not sure she wanted to go that route. She would ask Matt for his opinion, but she knew he would want her to have the transfusions. Sally prayed as much as she could in her fatigue.
Then, the University did an odd thing. They fired Sally for taking too many days off. Sally and Frieda were shocked, but apparently the law in Wisconsin for university instructors without tenure did not guarantee long days off for chemo.
Sally took this as a sign, as her insurance would only last three months longer and then be suspended. All therapy would end until she transferred her insurance to a government source. But, with a pre-existing serious cancer, her chances for transfusions faded quickly.
Sally called her spiritual director, a wonderful priest of the "old school", Father Andrew Schiller, an Opus Dei priest. She wanted to know how a Catholic, a real Catholic, should respond to her situation of what she saw as now, especially, excessive treatments for a few months or few years added to her life.
Fr. Andrew sat in silence, holding his fingers before his face for what seemed a long time to Sally. "No one can be told what to do, how to respond in your situation. I cannot tell you what to do. You must pray and be peaceful with your own discernment. I know many holy people who died after years of treatment, and I know many holy people who refused treatment."
Sally thought that she could not make a decision right now, in this room in the rectory. So, when Frieda came to pick her up, she asked if they could go out for tea or coffee. Frieda had the day off, "Sure, I know you like Indie's so let's go there."
Frieda opened the car door for Sal. The young woman was too thin, too pale. Frieda did not know what to think or even how to react, except to help with the practical things. Sally was grateful. She was not in the mood for either sympathy or philosophy.
December ice filled the streets and hung on the trees, pushing down branches, almost to the sidewalks. Fog covered the lake and the fog froze on the lines around the city. Sally could here the cries of the seagulls, but she could not see the large birds.
Frieda had a knack for finding odd parking spaces, and in minutes, the two women were sitting warm and cozy in Indie's. Sally could drink certain things and not others. Frieda started the conversation, "I know what you are going to say. You are going to tell me that you are not going on with the transfusions."
Frieda sipped her cappuccino. Sally stared at the green tea. "Yes, I have almost made the decision, but you know what it means."
"Sally, we have been friends for years. I have always known that your life would be different, more exciting, more daring than mine. Whatever you decide, I just want you to know that I trust in you, totally."
Sally gently touched Frieda's hand. Frieda saw the thinness and felt the cold in her friend's fingers. More than anything, this small gesture brought tears to her eyes.
"I shall go to Matt and Abbey's and see if they will let me die there. I think there is a Catholic hospice in Houston. Matt would help. But, the baby, is it right I go there?"
"You belong there, in my mind. Madison does not love you. The University could care less. Only our little parish cares and they would want you to be with family. Sadly, Matt and Abbey are the only family you really have, not the Toxics."
Sally smiled. Frieda always came to the point. "Well, I guess then, really, I have to make this choice, either to stay here, find financing for further treatment or leave and die."
Frieda looked at her friend's big eyes. "You know what I want. I want you to stay and I would help raise money for you. I would be there, you know that. But, I think that staying in Wisconsin is not what you want."
Frieda ate her little cookie. "Have you told your parents?"
Sally nodded. "Yesterday. Duke said that he did not have time to talk to me about it now, and Massie complained that she did not want to bury another daughter. My older sister died, you know, when she was nine when she fell off her bicycle into the street and was hit."
"So, Massie is thinking of her own emotions and Duke does not want to talk about unpleasantries. Really, Sally, you need to go where you are loved."
Sally thought of this, to go where one is loved. Yes, always, that was the answer to life.
"Frieda, when things are coming to an end, will you come? Please?"
"Absolutely. Now, let me get you home, and we can both talk to Abbey and Matt together. There are a few details I want to discuss with them."
Two hours later, Sally's short life was planned out. Matt would take care of the hospice arrangements but for the time being, he would fly up to Madison and personally escort Sally to Houston.
After all was planned, Sally went into her bedroom and came out with a box. "Frieda, I want to give these things to you. I have no one else. All my jewelry and some journals, plus a few letters. Will you take these?"
Frieda stood up and hugged the thin woman. "Sure thing, honey. I am honored. Now, let me help you wash and get some rest. I shall check in with you tomorrow. I have all the information on the flight and can help sort out the condo. You will sell this in no time, being so close to the University."
Frieda went into her usual bustling mode and then left. When she got home, she called Matt again.
"It is not good, Matt. I hope you get prepared. And, do not tell her ever I am paying for the hospice."
:"Agreed, Frieda. I shall see you next week."
Frieda sat down in her biggest armchair. She took the little cedar box of Sally's and opened it. Frieda had never heard the entire story of Sally and Hans' romance, but there it was, in a journal, a few letters, and a huge ruby ring in a box. Frieda closed the box. "I shall look at all of this after Sal is gone."
to be continued....