Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Terry Schiavo

I was out on a Sunday Morning doing my routine jog around the block, feeling pretty good actually. Feeling healthy, strong, athletic...as if I could conquer all before me. Well, maybe not that good, but I was feeling very grateful for my health. Towards the end of my run where I start to just walk the rest of the way to wind down, I was passing by a neighboring building's parking lot and observed three individuals apparently walking to their respective parking area. A woman, A man and another man in a wheel-chair. The first man was pushing the second in the wheel-chair while the woman followed behind. They all seemed to be together as they walked. The gentleman in the chair, from my observations, appeared to be someone with down-syndrome and confined, maybe permanantly, to the wheel-chair. His head seemed to just swing and flop without control as he was pushed along the rough ashphalt in the parking lot. Then something comepletely unexpected and, in my opinion, absolutely appalling occured, The man pushing the wheel chair raised his hand and slapped the wheel-chair bound gentleman in the back of his head, seemingly for no good reason! I first thought, well maybe this guy in the chair said a smart comment in jest and this is merely a scene of horseplay between friends. Maybe. But then, this same thing happened three more times as I walked by!! This guy was slapping this wheel chaired bound, possibly down-syndrome suffering, defensless gentleman in the head for no clear or obvious reason!! Coward!! I thought to myself. So, by the second slap, I stopped, proceeded toward the fencing that encompassed the parking lot, and began to stare down this jerk. I thought they were too far away, along with the noise of the traffic to hear me when I yelled "hey!", but to my surprise they stopped and the woman and man looked up at me, I really didn't know what to say in the heat of the moment, feeling so angry, so I just stared at him angrily, shaking my head disagreably. The man just looked up at me, shook his head and gave a hand gesture of whatever, they continued to their car. I continued to watch from where I was standing outside of the fencing until they entered their automobile, the slapping had ceased. They drove away and dissappeared around the other side of the building. I was fuming for quite some time after that, feeling dismayed.

That scene has been on my mind since Sunday and I am still fuming. I've made efforts to look for these people as they probably do live in that building, which is right next door to my own, but to no avail. I am still keeping my eye out for them though. Then this morning I read Lashawn Barber's Corner about Terry Schiavo. The woman Florida in a vegetative state, whose husband wants to pull the plug on her and starve her to death, inspite of the fact that she has shown definitive response to external stimulus from family members. Her husband has expressed no real reason for doing this other than his claim that Mrs. Schiavo would not have wanted to suffer as an invalid. Terry's family disagrees and is fighting for control of her medical dicisions. As a result of their brave and difficult efforts, this story has been in the national spot light for some time now. On her blog, Lashawn Barber points out that in the Blogosphere, bloggers are mounting an effort to bring further awareness and pressure to the powers that be by blogging about Terry Schiavo at least once a day. Any blogger wanting to do this can join their blog roll here.

I plan to join the effort, I don't usually blog but a couple times a week, so this really will be a stretch for me to blog once a day about this particular subject. I hope that our efforts will truly make the difference in saving this woman's life, and not only her but all who are in this situation. I hope that ultimately we can begin to steer the general public back to the idea of human life being precious, sacred, and something to be upheld and not denigrated. Something that is established and ordered by our creator and not subject to the whims of man. This is at the crux of the matter. I pray God's blessings be upon this endeavor.


Jody said...

Good for you, joining the effort and for doing something about the man being abusive to the handicapped person. I am amazed how people think they have the right to hurt anyone else, especially those who are weaker than them. Good luck too to start blogging daily, be careful though, you might get hooked... :)

_cwg_ said...

I want to thank you for advocating for that individual that you saw. It is sad to think that humanity has stooped to the place where disabilities are looked down upon. I support individuals with disabilities and let me tell you...they will touch your heart.
Bless you

Anonymous said...

Bless you. I too get irate when I see abuse like that.