Archive for March, 2005

He’s Good

March 31, 2005

I am foregoing my web postings for this evening. Tonight my heart is filled with grief and I just don’t have the energy to write. This morning Terri died. The nation witnessed a public execution of the innocent and it made my heart sick. This afternoon we found out that a family we love and care about is going to loose their 7 year old daughter to terminal cancer. There is so much sadness in life sometimes and tonight I have tears with no words.

There was one little bright spot today though. My mother in love called to tell me a story that was precious to me. A couple of days ago, she took Tanner into an antique store with her. They saw a picture of George Washington and she was explaining to Tanner how he was the 1st President of our country. My three year old looked at his grandma and said, “I like Jesus. He is good”.

You don’t always know how much your children absorb until someone else tells you what they repeat. Of anything I could teach my little boy about God’s character though, I can’t tell you how much joy it gives me to know that the first attribute Tanner has learned is that God is good. I needed to be reminded of this today. How precious that the words came out of the mouth of my babe.

Lessons From Never Land

March 26, 2005

Yesterday Jim bought Finding Never Land and we watched it. Tanner was rather disappointed that it wasn’t about dragons. Not sure where he got that idea.

There was a line in the movie that stole my heart and I am going to embrace it and deliver it from now on. I am often asked what time my kids go down to sleep at night and I never have an answer. Basically, we just all fall asleep and then we relocate to our bedrooms. Jim and I love family time and it just never feels like a good moment to say good night to Tanner and Ty so we just don’t:) Actually that’s not true…Tanner is usually tucked into bed before he falls asleep and Daddy reads stories and tickles his back but that rarely happens at a decent hour. It is almost midnight and Tanner and Daddy are watching Fear Factor at this very moment. It is not important for us to get kids down at any particular time though when I am a stay at home mommy. We just live with a schedule that suits us for now. Jim and I are night owls so it works for us if the kids are too.

Thanks to this movie though, I now have a very profound answer to deliver that is MUCH better than “I don’t know what time” AND it is also an answer that has a serious ring of truth to it for me. Ready?

“Little boys should never be sent to bed because they will wake up a day older in the morning.”

I almost cried when I heard that. That is my new favorite line of defense against a bedtime. I also agree with it:). I love these evening hours with my sons and I don’t want to give them up at 8:00 PM. Time with my babies is short and I cherish it. Each morning they are a day older so I prefer each day to last as long as possible.

Tannerisms

“Grandma. Are there snakes in Chicago?” – Grandma was impressed at the question and that he knew she lives in Chicago and could say the word. I was surprised too actually.

“Dat’s Shox Ten!” – Apparently he CAN read. I was watching tv and the little Fox 10 symbol came up and Tanner repeated this.

“Mommy. Ty’s messin with your stuss” – I hear this ALL day.

Tanner and the XBox

I am limiting XBox time now much to Tanner’s dismay. I am pretty impressed though with how much my three year old knows about this. He and daddy can carry on conversations about their adventures and I am absolutely clueless to what they are discussing. Tanner is even trying to teach me the elementary stuff so I will play with him. He explained a map to me this week and let me know that I couldn’t shoot my own guys. If I start straying off the beaten path, he gets aggravated and just like a male, reaches across my lap and starts taking over my controller all the while telling me I am doing it wrong. All the while I am asking myself how I got in this situation because I HATE playing video games.

The “S” word

Yesterday Tanner and I were in Ty’s room and Ty was in the front room. We heard Ty crash and hit his head. This is an every five minute occurence so there wasn’t great reaction on either of our parts in all honesty. Tanner looked at me very seriously shook his head and said “Stupid”. I choked on my laugh. This statement was pretty unexpected but I had to admit, the definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over and expecting a different result and our determined little Ty does have a habit of repetative behavior with repetative consequence. Tanner and I then had to talk about never never calling one’s brother stupid. I can’t help it – if you could have only seen the practical look on his face you would giggle too. (And to be fair, he didn’t mean his brother was stupid, he meant Ty’s actions resulting in his fall was stupid).

Little Puckins

This week I was playing cowboys with Tanner. He gave me all the bad guys and he took the good guys and then told me that I had to steal his horses. It was hilarious to me when I heard him call his GOOD guys “little puckins” (little pumpkins) right before they used their lasso and strung up my guys by the neck. Little pumpkins isn’t the word I would have used:). Further, why is it he always makes me the bad guy?

Like Dis

I have been telling Jim that I fear Tanner has more common sense than I do. I have been talking about his sense of direction quickly advancing over mine. He is beginning to help me with practical matters as well. I was playing with his dinosaurs with him and one dumb creature would not stand on two legs no matter what I did. I finally started grumbling against the manufacturer for their poor creation. Tanner took the dinosaur from me and softly said “Mommy – like dis” and simply put the 4 legged creature on all fours. (Sheepish smile – 2 legs were shorter than the others so it DID look like it should be a 2 legged standing dinosaur).

Like Daddy

While Ty napped in the swing, Tanner needed some outside play time. Poor guy gets lonely and at the moment I am his best play partner (sad for Tanner). Anyhow, he insisted that I sit in the dirt with him while we loaded up dump trucks with dirt. I found this more interesting than cowboys and xbox actually. I am not afraid to get a little messy:). At one point I asked him if I could get a chair because sitting on the rocks was not that comfortable (which he pronounces comfbabull”). I told him the rocks were starting to hurt my bottom. He said “Ya! What’s da deal with dat?” LOL (Jim say’s that all the time).

While we were playing with these trucks, Tanner interrupted and said, ” Mommy don’t get in my way.” Hmph! Here I am trying to play and now he butts me out. Fine. I watch. Next thing I know he say’s “Are you going to help me?” Sheeeessshh!!! Can’t win for losin’.

He must have just been in a sassy mood today. I had to hide my face in a book laughing when he got into a controversy with his father. Jim was correcting him on how to pronounce a word. Tanner has been saying “da -eee” and “Ma – eeee” leaving middle syllables out. He can pronounce them correctly he just has gotten into a lazy habit. This bugs Jim so he was reminding Tanner to say it right. Tanner got frustrated with this correction. He was actually talking to me when Jim intervened with this correction. As a result, Tanner looked at his dad and with aggravation in his voice said “I don’t want ask you! I askin mommy!” These are things that normally wouldn’t be funny but Tanner is so mild manner he rarely (actually never that I can think of) has said something so sassy. Jim did not let this go of course and discussed how our children will speak respectfully and not talk back but I was mighty thankful I had an object to cover my face because I couldn’t help but giggle.

Write Dat Down!

So Tanner and I are on the trampolene today laying flat on our backs and discussing the shape of the clouds. He found some pretty interesting characters too. I was impressed with his imagination (or maybe mine that I knew what he was talking about…wait…does that mean he has the imagination of a thirty SOMETHING:) year old or that I have the imagination of a three year old? LOL)

While relaxing we began to talk about his fear factor party. To my amazement he was full of ideas. I found him so funny that I wanted to write his ideas down. I got pen and paper for our Fear Factor business meeting and told him I need to keep track of his ideas. If I would stop writing he would say “Come on Mommy! Write!” Here is what he wants (all written down as he told me about things and all straight from him without my input – though some of these, not all, were his responses to questions I asked).

* He said he wants a cake with dead bugs on top.

*He wants spiders because that is what he thinks Uncle Darin is afraid of.

*He wants dead bugs because he thinks that is what Uncle Dusty is afraid of.

*He said he wants animals that bite really hard.

*This one I didn’t write but when he noticed that I didn’t write it he insisted that I write it down. He wants dead animals to put in people’s hands (don’t judge too harshly – he always thinks the dead rats are amazing on fear factor so that is the association)

*His invitation list initially was short. He wants Sweetie and Grandma at his party. Won’t they be excited! Especially now that they know he has invited dead animals. LOL. (And no, we will have to have a creative work around for this because I will NOT be looking for any dead rats).

*He asked if I could make punch with a snake in it and if I could make fly soup. Interesting because he doesn’t drink punch or eat soup often so funny that he even knew to be creative about that. Did he see something I didn’t?

*He wants Papa to be scared.

Each time there would be a lull in our conversation he would say “Mommy are you shinkin’?” Then he would say “Mommy what my shear shactor pah-tee gonna be?”

Note to my mother: Aren’t you so excited about this? LOL!

VRU Top 10

March 25, 2005

Know what a VRU is? Of course you do you just may not recognize it by title. VRU is a voice response unit. It is the manufactured voice you must listen to everytime you call a busines these days. I know this “lingo” because I was an Operations Manager for a Call Center for many years (before children:).

I have a very serious aversion towards VRUs. In fact, I absolutely positively hate them. I was so aggravated this week trying to get information that during my wait I wrote a top ten list for why I hate them. Just for kicks, I thought I’d share. I KNOW that many will relate to me on this one. Feel free to add your own – I am sure I missed stuff.

Number 10 – I do not enjoy listening to the sales pitches while waiting. It is like adding insult to injury. First I have to sit on hold for three hours all the while listening to advertisements. Total double whammy that will aggravate the most patient of souls.

Number 9 – I want to get straight to business at hand and I detest having to listen to the 2 hour menu detailing every available option known to man. And of course, the option I want is always last. Naturally.

Number 8 – Apparently it takes a rocket scientist to figure out when you can hit zero for an operator. I have discovered this each time I have attempted to the beat the odds. On the one hand, you may hit zero at the appropriate moment and avoid aggravation number 10 and number 9 HOWEVER, one must beware because there is a great window of opportunity for disconnect while attempting this or equally as devastating, you may get dumped back into the main menu where you start all over.

Number 7 – In addition to number 8, I have found that there are 57 ways one can disconnect oneself. Never rhyme or reason for it…completely random. All as if there is this conspiracy to wear you down before you even get any one on the line.

Number 6 – If you ever manage to connect to an actual human, you then have the priviledge of the interrogation. Financial Institutions are the worst for this. I always enjoy it when they ask me questions I don’t know the answer to (like what was your last check amount) and I say “Hold on…let me pull up the same screen you are looking at on the web and I’ll answer your question….aaaghhh! It used to be just last four digits of your social. Now they practically require a DNA sample.

Number 5 – And while we are on the subject….why in the heck do they ask me these questions when I just had to verify myself through their dumb VRU with a password???? So your machine can answer my question if I know my password but you can’t ask my password so than we have to include 35 hundred other verification possibilities?

Number 4 – Ever notice these reps never have supervisors available? Exactly where do these supervisors congregate anyhow? Are they in the backroom scrambling all the VRU options just for kicks? I would swear someone is. The institution I used to work for (who shall remain nameless…which is laughable because these institutions always change names) actually had a slogan “Be here now.” Well where in the heck are they when they are never “here”.

Number 3 – If you ask a rep for their number so that you can call them back for follow up, they will say “I am sorry. We don’t have personal extensions.” How convenient for us. Never fail we DO have to call back and we get the priveledge of starting the conversation again all over with someone else. This will happen at least 3 times. Then you give up and you show up in person in the branch and you ask them why they bother using web and phone assistance when everyone ultimately ends up having to by pass these options anyhow.

Number 2 – I can’t count how many times I have been given WRONG information by service reps over the phone… I will sometimes call two to three times just to survey and average the answer. (I am totally not kidding about that). Provides hours of entertainment for the truly obsessed with fact finding missions.

Number 1 – WHY IS IT THAT I LIVE IN AMERICA AND I AM ASKED IF I WANT THE ENGLISH OPTION?

So that is my list and I feel better just writing it. If any of my past coworkers read this I am sure you will grin wide with amusement (all the while anxious for the day that you can post these comments with freedom as well LOL).

….is that Ty is discriminating against all other food because of them and they are only 25 stinking calories per 1/2 cup! Couldn’t he at least have loved something fattening for crying out loud? Not often a mom is knockin’ low calorie food but this is an exception. This kids belly is like a bottomless pit now that he has discovered food. The Fruit and Veggie Puffs are by far his favorite though. He literally screams for them. As soon as he is done with the puffs in front of him, he starts yelling and banging on the table for more. If you try to offer him anything else, he swipes it away. Ultimately this could prove to be a problem. His baby food success lasted less than 3 weeks. Now that he has discovered big boy food, he wants nothing to do with anything in a jar. The last three days I have attempted jar feedings and he bats my spoon away and refuses it. We have now given him bannanas, strawberries, cantalope, yogurt, hamburger, turkey, cheese, vienna sausage and mashed potatoes. He wants to eat on his own so we are letting him. I think I should hide the fruit puffs tomorrow though because he even sorts the food on his tray to get to them.

In keeping with family tradition (when I say family I mean Zimmermann’s – sisters in love have not bought into this though I am making headway with Jodi), Ty has had his first taste of coke and he LOVES it! Waaaayyyy ttoooooo much! If he sites a cup in my hand, he automatically assumes it is soda and he comes for it in a hurry. I have had to relocate my drinks on countless occasions because he will not rest if there is any conceivable opportunity to get it. He likes drinking it from the cup and he even will say “aaaaaaahhhhhh” after a really good sip:). I have nearly been mauled by him though trying to get the cup away and I am rethinking if this was a wise decision on my part with THIS particular child:). I may just be in over my head here. Sweetie will love it though. (We are just talking little sips people….don’t panic:) My mother in love has shared a story with me in regards to friends and I find it hysterical. Friends of the family chose to keep coke from their little one’s. When their eldest was around three, he had his first sip. In amazement, he gazed at all the adults in the room and in wonder said “It’s not yucky!!!!” LOL!!!! Terrible moment when the toddler figured out he had been lied to for years:) Being the honest mommy that I am, I just cannot withold this wonderous truth.

Buttons
Suspicious to anyone that the same two buttons on both Jim and my laptop are missing? If I were a betting gal my money would be on my littlest.

Glo Worm
Have I mentioned lately that Ty’s glo-baby aversion continues? It still comes and goes. Someday’s he is terrified of it and someday’s he isn’t. I just randomly do little checks. I caught a portion of his fake cry over this on tape last week. I might post that soon. Pretty cute. I have no explanation for the random aversion. One thing I have noticed though is he often looks in my eyes as if seeking my emotional response. Is mommy afraid? No? Okay maybe this is funny then. Wait….no smile…maybe she is scared…maybe I should be scared…am I scared? LOL.

Busy Baby
I childproofed the house when Tanner was a baby but it wasn’t entirely necessary. Childproofing is now imperative. I have been so thankful this week that Ty loves the bath because when he manages to escape into the bathroom (because SOMEONE I KNOW forgot to close the door behind himself) he goes straight for the tub (which is of course empty) instead of the toilet. I would put toilet li safety latches on the toilet but would Tanner have trouble with them? Hmmmm…what to do? Anyhow, I’ll just detail a list of the Ty misdimeanors of the week.

*At this current moment he is eating a McDonald’s sack. (Tanner is intervening while saying “Ty Come On!”) I am ignoring because I am learning to block out these discussions:). Wait did I say McDonald’s….I meant…the plastic salad carton with low fat dressing no croutons extra lettuce no fat cheese (all said if any grace4today girls happen to be reading this LOL) It’s a holiday weekend for crying out loud!

*Ty discovered the blinds while in his playpen. Knew he would be standing in his playpen soon but forget to consider that he could reach the blinds from a standing position.

*Ty discovered the blinds while in his crib. This is a problem because I can’t pull the crib further from the wall since the crib is between the bed and the wall. Next thing I knew he was actually REMOVING an 8×10 picture off my wall from his crib. Yes I am an idiot. I never contemplated that from a standing position he could reach it. My solution? Put him to bed asleep for the moment:) LOL. Someone I know may have to move into his own bedroom soon if his little sticky fingers can’t confine themselves to the appropriate space alloted.

*Ty ate a good portion of the last page in one of my Ted Dekker books.

*At this moment he is now eating my mouse pad.

*He screams when I try to take him out of the bathtub and he loves to think that he can swim underwater. He will dip his head under over and over and come up choking like mad only to repeat a moment later. (Which is why he was removed from the bath tub). I put only a couple inches in and gave him free reign in the tub. He abused his priveledge.

*At this moment he is eating a twinkie wrapper (*stop* handled situation).

*Back to typing and he is now eating an apple pie box. That’s it! I am not writing about his adventures anymore tonight or everyone will be wondering more about my negligence in leaving food wrappers around than Ty eating them (we just finished dinner for the record – oh ya…all the junk food was Jim and Tanners;).

Once a friend of mine’s baby was eating crumbs off our church floor and when this was called to her attention she barely batted an eye and said “Yes she is a little human vaccuum” and ignored the whole thing. I was dumbfounded at this obvious case of negligence. Ty has taught me to curb my judgements:) LOL. I recently bought a Shark vacuum but that was probably a waste of money:)

Walking

While Ty has no true concept of walking, he is managing to walk along the couch and coffee table as of this week. Big step! If you hold his hands and try to walk with him though, he doesn’t get the one foot in front of the other thing. This is a micro preemie thing and it will take time for him to learn about weight bearing on his feet.

Tooth Update

Ty’s sixth tooth arrived this week. The upper right eye tooth.

Huggin’

Ty is becoming a little lover. When he wakes up in the morning and from his nap, he first lays his head on my shoulder and cuddles a second than looks at me and grins. All as if to say “Good morning mama!” He even patted my back while doing this today. I feel so incredibly blessed with my precious boys!

Breakfast Time

Witnessed something adorable this week. It was just the normal interchange between siblings but still a precious moment. Tanner was eating cereal (with no milk) on the coffee table. Ty (of course) had to see what Tanner was doing so he stood across the table from him. Tanner would offer him one fruit loop at a time and Ty would anxiously await his piece. I videotaped this like any good mother:) and it is just adorable.

Vidiot Number Three Alert

Tanner is becoming quite proficient with X Box and Ty is trying to understand the attraction. Three times yesterday I walked into the playroom to find Ty playing with the controller while standing at the play table or the chair. All three times was when Tanner was not in the room so Ty was not having to fight him for it. I think he wanted his own time to check it out without Tanner harping on him for playing with his “stuss”.

At this particular moment I am wishing he was at least a tad bit sleepy because typing this has been quite difficult. He keeps grabbing my lap top screen and bending it backwards. Ha Ha! Now he is doing it to daddy. Jim is reading something on the internet and has both Ty’s hands to keep him from pulling the screen. Ty is dancing and saying “da da”, “da da”, “da da”. Daddy lets go. Ty stands up and does it again. Now he is getting into my purse and Jim is intervening. Good glory! How clean does a house have to be? Sheeesh!

Beyond Terri

March 25, 2005

Before getting to the heart of this posting, I want to be specific about my audience. This posting was written with those of like faith in mind. If you do not share the same foundation of spiritual belief that I embrace, this posting will not be relevant to your heart as it is the foundation from which I will share my thoughts.

Yesterday Tanner and I were sitting on the couch and he said, “Mommy? What you and daddy talkin?”

“What do you mean? You want to know what Daddy and I were talking about? When?” I replied.

“In da kitchen.” he said.

Hmmmm….that’s interesting. My three old was listening to the passionate discussion Jim and I were having over Terri Schiavo and wanted to understand what the root of our conversation was. Have to be careful about what we say in front of our little man.

Here is basically what I explained to my three year old son:

Daddy and Mommy are very sad right now. Do you remember when Ty was a tiny baby and he had the yellow tube down his nose that we had to feed him with? He was not getting enough milk in his bottle and wasn’t quite ready to eat yet so we had to force milk into his tummy by feeding him over a pump. Remember that? (He did). What would have happened to our baby if mommy and daddy would have pulled his feeding tube and not fed him? He would have died. There are some people that pulled a feeding tube out of a lady because she is hurt and now she is starving and very thirsty and is going to die and Daddy and I are angry that people are doing that to her.

I found it was very simple explaining this to a child. A child would never question the fact that starving someone is wrong. That is an obvious point.

As my audience knows, the issues that I feel passionate about, I pay attention to. I read articles, listen to radio, watch CNN, do web research etc. Partly because I want to understand and partly because I care.

In doing these things it is becoming very clear to me (and many others) that this controversary goes way beyond Terri’s fight. It is about the right to life and the right to die.

Often, I discuss these topics from a humanitarian, scientific, and general ethics standpoint and don’t dive too deeply into the spiritual side. The spiritual side of these debates is often quite obvious so there is no need to explain it to those of like faith. To those of unlike faith, Christian beliefs are irrelevant. HOWEVER, when discussing “right to die”, I am finding that many of my own circle of loved one’s who SHARE my faith have a split in the camp and I know this is nation wide. For this reason, I am going to center in on the spiritual nature of this argument.

Often, we as Christians, are so inundated with secular philosophy that we don’t even realize that we have embraced ideologies that run very contrary to God’s laws. From a spiritual perspective, when is it okay to “allow” someone to die? There are two portions of this question I want to address.

First, there is an enormous difference between allowing someone to die and causing their death. In the Terri Schiavo case it is PARAMOUNT to direct attention to this point. Terri WAS NOT dying! NOR were there extraordinary means taken to keep her alive. In fact, quite the opposite. I believe we would call it abusive to keep a patient in a room, limit visitation, and ensure that NO therapies are given for FIFTEEN YEARS!!!! What kind of condition would any disabled person be in without rehabilitation? Terri was in a state of living. Her journey towards death began last Friday when our nation’s legal system upheld decisions to starve her. Additionally, a feeding tube is not an extradordinary and heroic level of medical intervention. It in no way constitutes life support. Ty on the other hand WAS on full life support. Nearly every aspect of Ty’s system was kept alive by intervention. He couldn’t regulate his own body temperature, his skin was so thin you could barely touch it so it had to be protected, he couldn’t breathe on his own, his blood pressure was controlled his sodium and potassium levels were controlled his iron levels were controlled, he required many blood transfusions. To be honest, feeding was a rather insignificant point in all of this. I asked the Dr.s to teach me how to insert his NG tube just so that we could take him home last April. We used a feeding pump at home for his first month and realized the possibility that feeding Ty by tube could be permanent. Their are many micro preemies who end up on G-Tubes. (NG is temporary tube down the nose – G Tube is more permanent through the stomach).

In this country, Physician Assistant Suicide is illegal in most states (though I think Oregon may allow a form of it…not sure there). Why do most states not support it? Because it CAUSES a person’s death. Removing the feeding tube from Terri is absolutely and unquestionably the CAUSE of her death. Why then, was this allowed? Very fuzzy law attempting to define feeding tube as full life support. While this may have confused many in this country, it did NOT confuse those of us who have fed our children over pumps!

This leads to my second point of emphasis. The issue is not really about “allowing someone to die gracefully” because, again, Terri was not dying. The issue is value of life and if anyone (including the affected individual) has a right to death. Here is where things get sticky and we have to approach these discussions with GREAT care and concern. The issue of “quality of life” and “life of value” and “right of life” all have a common root. Is the life of a human individual created by God EVER of little to no value? Ever????? Do we even have to guess at God’s answer folks?

The next argument of course is “If we are taking extraordinary means to intervene with life, are we interrupting God’s plan?”. This question has many levels.

On a broad level, most of us would answer no. If my child had terminal cancer and I refused treatment for him when treatment was available, in all likelihood, I would be forced by the state to submit my child to treatment. This is because the vast majority of us believe that God has given the benefit of medicine to us as a gift.

Let’s discuss the individual who is indeed in a state of death and dying and is on absolute and FULL life support. There are many questions to be asked here. Is there ANY consciousness? Any? Any whatsoever? Second, is there ANY hope of improvement? Improvement defined of person not remaining in a state of death and dying not improvement defined as quality of life as that is too subjective. Is everyone in agreement that everything that could have medically been done has been done and the individual has no fight left? Are we in constant battle to keep them alive when God has put them in a state of dying?

In Ty’s case here were the facts that we had to evaluate:

1. He was on full life support and was having death and dying episodes
2. There were HUGE questions about his future quality of life due to his bilateral hemorrhages

Would we have had a “legal” case to defend ending his life support? Technically yes.

Would we have had a “moral” case to defend this? I strongly believe NO.

Here is what Ty had going for him. He was a fighter. Yes he had death and dying episodes but he did NOT die. He lived. Irregardless of our medical intervention it is not possible to thwart God’s plan’s. If He would have called Ty home, that would have been the end of it and no amount of life support would have made a difference. As I have stated before, I saw this scenario up close and personal and there were a few moments when I thought God was going to take our baby despite our best human efforts to save him.

Ty did have GREAT potential for disability. The range was broad from mild to incredibly severe. PVL alone gives him a 60% chance of CP. CP can be devastating and the end result can be a PVS state (as Dr.s “claim” Terri is in). Ty also had potential to have a healthy and full life. There was not ever a Dr. (nor would there have been) who could have told us what Ty’s future looked like. No one knew. No one knows now though Ty is telling us he is going to get through this beyond anyone’s expectations.

Imagine if we would have fought a legal battle believing Ty would end up in the severest of all situations? What do you think our son would say to that? And he most definitely WILL be able to respond to this question because Ty is QUITE cognizant.

Now we step up another level.

What if we knew beyond shadow of doubt that Ty WOULD live in a state of PVS. Does that then give us the right to terminate. Would Ty have the right to die had he signed consent?

A few years ago I knew a family that experienced a horrible tragedy. Their son was critically injured as a teenager and was rendered a quadriplegic on life support. Eventually he was able to leave the hospital and live at home with his family. He was in a wheel chair and could not breathe on his own or speak. He was totally cognizant though. Very much like Christopher Reeves. This young teenager, battling depression decided to end his suffering and he had state support to do that. With his family gathered around him, they removed his life support and watched as he suffocated. This was a TERRIBLE situation for all involved. My heart grieved for them. My heart also grieved for him. HE had decided his life had no value. HE decided he was unwilling to live life disabled irregardless of his conscious state.

While I strongly oppose the embryonic stem cell battle that Christopher Reeves chose to support, I do applaud Christopher Reeves for realizing his value and continuing to contribute to society and his family despite a severe disability.

When it comes down to it though, the significance and value we place on ourselves is not what is of key relevance. The value that God puts on each of our lives is supremely significant. I find no where in scripture that God allows us to end our lives prematurely based on our own opinion of our value and worth, nor the amount of suffering we are willing to endure. I can imagine many scenarios in my own life where it would be tempting to say “No I would not want to live like that”. Joni Erickson Tada did. She begged her sister in the hospital to help her commit suicide. She didn’t want to live a quadriplegic and be a burden on her family and society. Thankfully, her sister would not support her in this. The result? Joni is a profound spokeswoman for the disabled but more so an awesome testimony to the sovereignty of God and she gives all glory to Him. I can’t wait to meet her in heaven someday and to see her walk but I personally will thank the Lord for “diminishing” her quality of life because she has made a difference in my life and countless others and we will be different throughout eternity because of things we learned from her. That counts! That counts huge!

And what if a person is in a persistent vegetative state (PVS)? What if they are not dying but they are not conscious either? If you have to CAUSE their death in order to “release” them, than you have to question who gave you the authority to do so. If God wanted to take the individual he would have.

Here is where the question of compassion comes in. I get many ugly labels for my stance on this subject. My first priority is to honor God though and causing the death of the innocent does not honor God. Ever. It is not my choice to make. Do I feel compassionate on those who are living in this state? Of course I do. I don’t know what God’s reasons are for allowing it though so who am I to intercede? Occasionally God does give little glimpses of the “why’s” even when we don’t have full knowledge. On this subject I can think of a list of possibilities. To name a few:

1. Medical professionals often get it wrong. Case in point. Nurse told me she did not have expectations of a good potential outcome for Ty. She was wrong. How many stories like this could we list? Countless.

2. Sometimes when people suffer it makes PROFOUND significance in the life of someone else. I have known families to care for severely disabled children. Those children may not have been aware of the impact upon their families but their families were irrevocably changed because of them. Some of the most loving caring and most compassionate people you would ever want to meet came by these traits through suffering…and often watching someone they love suffer.

3. Miracles do happen.

4. As a sub point to my first one, Heidi has told me about a situation of someone she knew that was in a state believed to be (or similar to) PVS. All involved believed the individual was not cognizant and could not respond. Heidi’s aunt intervened and began to sit with this individual, read to him, pray with him , and sing to him. After a lengthy period of time, this individual began to communicate with her using his hands. He would squeeze her hands to answer questions. Before he died, he accepted Christ as his savior through non verbal conversation. IF THAT ISN’T A REASON TO GIVE SOMEONE EVERY LAST CHANCE I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS???!!!

If you claim to be a follower of Christ and you read this and you think I am way off base, I would encourage you to study what other trusted leaders of our faith say to these matters. Billy Graham? James Dobson? Pat Roberts? Charles Stanley? John MacCarther? John Piper? Randy Alcorn? Rick Warren? My list would be lengthy. I will tell you that from what I have read, the large majority of Christian leaders support all that I have just written. In regards tot he Terri S. case, I have not yet seen any fundamental Christian leaders support this execution. I also thought it was interesting to read that Joni Erickson (on Larry King last night), sited 26 different US disabilities organizations ALL backing Terri. That alone say’s something.

My purpose in writing this to you is to challenge you. If you have embraced pop culture philosophy when it comes to embracing the truth of right to life and right to die issues, I would encourage you to dig deeper. First, ask the Lord! Ask Him to lead you to His truth on this subject. Study what known and respected leaders believe and how they biblically support their beliefs. I’ll do more research and provide links to reputable Christian sites that discuss these issues to help you form your own opinion.

This is an incredibly important topic. If we say that preborn babies have no value and we allow them to be executed, and then we say those that are sick have the right to die, if husbands can abandon their wives – ensure they get no rehabilitation and then remove their feeding tubes, if parents can remove the feeding tubes of down syndrome babies (yes that has happened many times) and then we attempt to determine what quality of life is and what value of life is, we will start a blood bath like we have never seen. You think I am being dramatic? Wonder what our fore fathers would think of what we have already done? Determining value of life is only the next step and it is an easy step to take once we are killing off people who WERE NOT DYING. Ultimately, no group will be left untouched. America has enough blood of the innocent on her hands – what will it take for us to embrace a culture of life?