Death with Dignity

deathI purposely did not want to post a picture of Brittany Maynard, either before or after her illness.  She stated several times in her videos that she no longer wanted to be photographed because of the weight gain from all the steroids she was on.  It was painful to her see the change in her body in less than a year.  Therefore, I will not post any pictures of videos of her.  You can all google it yourself, it’s all over the news.

I am not going to pontificate on her decision to die, and whether it was right or wrong.  For her, it was right, and at the right time.  That’s all that matters.

Many people were surprised to learn she did indeed choose to die on her original date of November 1st because a new video was posted a few days earlier that she had changed her mind and might push back the date.  However, I do believe I read somewhere that the video had been made a few weeks prior, and her condition had indeed worsened.  In fact the day after her final bucket list trip to the Grand Canyon, she had two very severe seizures.  She was scared.  So she stuck to her original date of November 1st.  I can’t believe how hard that must have been, to say goodbye to her husband, her family, her friends.  To actually take the meds, swallow them down, and then wait.  They say she went peacefully.  I’m glad.  Whew.  Big stuff.

I did read up on her condition.  None of the medical sites talk a lot about the quality of life issues, the pain, the debilitating aspect of the tumor.  They do point out that it is mostly fatal, and the average life span is not very long.  So I respect her decision to chose not to take chemo or do radiation.  She went for quality of life over quantity of life.  What’s a few more months of life, if it is spent in pain and suffering from side effects?

But.  As a Catholic I am troubled by the whole suicide aspect.  However, I really don’t believe that “Death with Dignity” is the same thing.  If God is all merciful, would he want us to suffer a horrible death?  But now I am veering into that whole religious debate, and I promised not go there.  Too many questions to ask and answer in that whole realm.

I just hope that when it is my turn, I can make a courageous decision, based on fact, and be at peace with it in my heart and soul.

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OMG, a GAY athlete?!!!!!

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Seems to me that the world of sports was kind of like the military in that regard. Don’t ask, don’t tell. Cause soldiers and athletes are manly men, and nobody wants to think of them as being gay, because that is just not right, right?

Wrong. I am not for or against gays, I am neutral on the whole subject. But I do know that gay men are not all hairdressers or designers. There are gay/lesbian people in ALL walks of life, whether you acknowledge it or not.

I am not gay, and I don’t pretend to understand the mind/body mechanisms of being gay. I do not know if you are born gay, become gay, want to be gay, don’t want to be gay, whatever. I do know that having gay parents doesn’t make you gay, just as having straight parents doesn’t make you straight. I know that it is a religious issue, and some religions condemn gays. I know that being gay causes great pain and suffering for both the person and the family.

Coming out is the big deal. What you do behind closed doors is your own personal business, but once you put it out there, you can’t it take it back. Even if you try, people will always wonder.

Back a few years ago, it seemed that all the high school girls were making out with other girls, and all the guys thought it was hot. Did that make them lesbians, or bi? I don’t think so. I think they did it just because it was the new, off the hook thing to do to shock and amaze people. High school/college seems to be the time for experimenting, with sex, drugs and rock and roll. Don’t laugh, it’s true! Except for me, I believed everything the nuns beat into our heads.  I am still damaged to this day.

This world we live in has become so diverse.  People of all color, religion, sexual orientation…..need to work it out, and live in peace.  Together, while still respecting each one’s individuality.   I’m not sure what God’s plan is with all this, but I am sure that he wants us to be happy and live in harmony.  So, live and let live!

The Week That Wasn’t

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Let’s pretend for a moment, shall we, that the past week never happened. Pretend that two boys that were considered Americans didn’t bomb the Boston Marathon. Pretend that a little 8 year old didn’t die. Pretend that two beautiful young ladies didn’t die. Pretend that among many others, a young dancer didn’t lose her legs. Pretend that once again, Americans didn’t have to rally round each other and spawn more heroes.

Let’s pretend that a fertilizer plant in Texas didn’t blow up and level a town, and kill 14 people, mostly first responders. Let’s pretend that there was not 240 tons of highly volatile ammonium nitrate on site.

Let’s pretend that ricin poisoned letters were not sent, one of them to our President.

What if we DON’T pretend? How could all this happen in reality, in OUR country? How indeed.

Unfortunately, I think this is our new reality. People are going to kill people with bombs and guns and poison and anything else they can get their hands on. People that don’t seem abnormal until the deed is done and it’s too late. People that are Catholic, Protestant, Muslum, Jewish….you name it. Every country has been affected in some way with violence and killings.

How do we stop it? How do we all live in peace?

I think we have to play “let’s pretend” again. 😦

The History Channel’s The Bible

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Hmmmm.  As we Catholics are currently conclaving for a new Pope after the last one quit (and perhaps the white smoke has appeared even while writing this), I felt that I should go back to my Christian roots and watch The Bible.

Wow.  What a time in History.  So glad I was born in modern times.  The whole thing just reeks of dust and sand and sweat and sin to me.  That’s right.  I said sin.  Even the Kings of Israel sin.  Big time sins.  Mortal sins.  And here I am worried about my petty little venial sins.

I guess back in those days you had to live for the moment, because it was such a violent time.  You never knew when you might get a spear in your back, even from your King.  I have watched 4  hours of it so far, and it leaves me to wonder…..

THAT’S the Promised Land?????  Nothing but sand and rocks and hills to climb.  Where is the grass?  Where is the water?  How did these people live?  You never see anyone eating.  Drinking wine, maybe.  I guess they ate the sheep the shepards herded, but what did the sheep eat?  There is not so much as a hint of green anywhere.

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These are the kind of things I wonder about when watching TV.  I’m always looking for some sense of reality.  (But not OUR kind of reality TV, lol).  I want things to make sense.  Like how come David could commit adultery and send the husband to his death and still be King? Ok, so God took his first-born son as retribution, but allowed him to produce another.  And what about all the fighting and murdering?  They decide to make Jerusalem their home base, so they have to go in and kill everybody.  Jerusalem translates loosely to City of Peace.  Ummm, not so much.  It has been fought over for centuries.

The killing thing has always bugged me.  It’s in the Ten Commandments.  THOU SHALL NOT KILL.  Oh, unless it is for religious reasons  Or fighting for your country reasons.  Which is usually related to religious conflicts.  Come to think of it, most of our wars are deeply rooted in differences in religious beliefs.  Crikey, we had HOLY wars!

So how come it is ok to kill in the name of religion?  I’m not just talking about the Christians, or Philistines, but also about the Muslims, Buddhist, etc.  Everyone thinks that THEIR religion is the only true religion.  So everyone else must agree, or die.

How come we can’t all get along?  Is it that hard?  Apparently it is.

Maybe that’s why all the Miss Universe beauty pageant contestants always answer “world peace”.

And let’s just touch briefly on Noah and the flood.  Apparently God wanted to cleanse the earth, so Noah loaded up his ark and God washed away all the evil on the earth.  Was it that much worse back then than now?  How much more evil can this world get?

Questions, questions.  All I have are questions.  If someone can answer my questions, please do!

P.S.  Late breaking news…we have a new Pope!

I don’t want to be Left Behind

I was born and raised Irish Catholic.  Catholic schools until junior year of high school.  Church on Sundays.  Singing in the choir.  Saying the rosary.  Gathering up those “saving graces”.

Somewhere along the way, it seemed like it was not cool to profess your faith in God and shout to the heavens that Jesus is our Lord and Savior.  People made fun of the “born agains”.  The general consensus was that if you were Christian and led a good life you had a free pass to heaven, but there was no need to shout it to the heavens.

Nope.  Not.  Don’t believe that anymore.  Even before I read this eye-opening book, I realized that I needed to REALLY let God into my life.  Why should it be embarrassing to say out loud that you believe that a higher power created life as you know it and that you want to be welcomed into the kingdom of Heaven?  When the alternative is nothingness or Hell?

I had a personal revelation this past summer when a tragedy happened to some friends of mine.  I realized that faith can pull you through the darkness and sadness and bring you back into the light.  I admired them and their church so much, it I attended services there for awhile.  It was a refreshing change from the same old service every Sunday at the Catholic church, with all the sit, stand, kneel etc.  At their church there was singing and bands and speakers and praising the Lord, and nobody was self-conscious to show their love for the Lord and each other.  Isn’t that what it should be all about????

Now don’t get me wrong, I still consider myself a Catholic and still go to my Catholic church too.  It is comforting to me because of its sameness.  I can let my mind wander and speak to God in my head and not miss a beat of the familiar ceremony.  The choir at my church is superb, especially at Christmas time, and I love to just sit and listen.  Music and singing move my soul.  My Catholic church was a place of refuge for me to go to after my divorce.  I would sit in the back row, with tears streaming down my face for the entire service.  Some of the regulars would pat my shoulder as I passed by, and gave me comfort.  I was too embarrassed to seek professional help or even go and talk to a priest, but felt I got it in the back pew of the church every Sunday.

So I will say this now.  I am a Christian, and I believe that Jesus is my Lord and Savior, and I want to go straight to heaven.  I want to see my dearly departed family members there.  I want all my puppies and kittys to meet me at the Rainbow Bridge.  I want to earn my wings.  If you are a Christian, I highly recommend that you read this book and the whole series.  It may give you a different perspective on how you look at your faith.  It is not good enough to just be a Christian by default.  You must make it so.  I don’t want YOU to be left behind either.