Today would have been my mother’s 78th birthday, had smoking-related lung cancer not taken her life fifteen years ago, on March 7, 1991. She went into respiratory failure; for three weeks the doctor told us she could go “any minute now” as she struggled and fought for each attempted breath. In the end, when I, weeping, told her there was no more help for her suffering, she waited until we were all out of the room, then she simply let go.
Her final illness was something of a Purgatory for her. All my life, she was suspicious, critical, isolated, unable to fully love or accept the love I her daughter and several of her extended family and friends had tried for years to give her; in those final days, she was amazed at how lovely and kind everyone was; she, who had such an aversion to public displays of emotion, patted my arm to comfort me as I wept at the sight of her struggles for air, of her body swollen and splitting from fluids building in her tissues, in her skin, when her kidneys began to fail.
My mother was able to make choices regarding her own health care in her final months, and she faced death with a greater dignity, courage, and peace than I had seen her facing life. Her doctor said — and you must know that my mother was not an easy patient — that he’d seldom seen such courage and dignity in the face of the decisions my mother had made when she received the diagnosis that she had cancer.
Unfortunately, too few people are allowed to make the decisions my mother was able to make — that is, to leave matters of life and death in the hands of the God Who gives us life. My mother, for all her eccentricities, peculiarities, and (what we politely call) “problems,” did believe in God, and she was willing to let Him do what He wanted with her life, including ending it on His terms, in His time.
Most people aren’t alowed these choices. Instead, they are the victims of another sort of “choice” — the choice of therapeutic abortion. A child is conceived through the choices of its parents, to engage in sexual intimacy; the child, an inconvenient reminder of perhaps an undesired responsibility that comes with intimacy, becomes disposable. An appointment at a clinic, some ten minutes in stirrups, a surgical procedure or a vacuum extraction rips apart the preborn’s limbs and little torso, and the matter is over and done with.
Or is it? The women I have known over the years who have had abortions — and some of them have actually had more than one — suffer for their “choice.” Something happens in the mind and soul of a woman who denies the most profound aspect of our sexuality: our ability to bear children. She becomes either severely depressed in grief for the wrong of her choice — and these are the lucky ones; the others, who deny that they have done anything wrong, or that the procedure has had any consequence in their lives, seem to be operating in an emotional 2-dimensional world. This is hard to describe, but perhaps you have known women who have gone from one bad relationship to another, who have denied responsibility for other choices, who seem always to be searching for some elusive something that they can never quite identify, much less attain… searching for some peace and serenity that is never to be found where they are searching.
Abortion is murder, yes. But let us not forget the surviving victims of this action: the women and men who live with the reality of a child dead by their own choosing.
Abortionists will never tell the whole story of abortion. It’s bad for business. Abortion as an industry represents maximum financial gain for minimum investment of time, energy, or interest. It is in the best economic interests of abortionists to try to persuade the general public that abortion is simple, easy, “safe.” It is the latter claim that is the biggest lie. When a living soul is killed, a procedure is not safe at all — and emotionally, spiritually, it is a death sentence for all who seek, obtain, and aid the procurement of said services.
Only a Righteous Judge — appealed through by most sincere repentence — has the power and the authority to commute that sentence.
Let us pray today for all who are harmed by the deceitful and demonic rhetoric of abortion “rights” — the unborn, yes – but also mothers, fathers, grandparents, friends… nurses, doctors and all whose hands are bloodied by this atrocity.