Saturday, January 22, 2011

I Could Have Been Aborted

A parent is a servant to their children. Providing them with the basic necessities of food, clothing, and shelter, not to mention the holding, cuddling, and snuggling nurture necessary for healthy psychological development, puts parents in many ways "at the mercy" of their children. They can't leave them alone, for oh, about 12 years (minumum legal age to be home alone in some states) if they want to go out dancing or have a nice dinner. They must wake many times during the night for 2 or 3 years after the birth of a child, they can't drop everything on the floor when they get home from work, everything must be put safely away from curious hands and mouths. Parents are the first servants children meet, are their first example of how to serve others. A parent must serve his or her child.

My mother became pregnant at 17. She lived with my Nana and my Aunt C. She had a part time job at McDonald's and was still in high school. After telling her she was pregnant, her doctor asked when she wanted to schedule the abortion. She didn't bother to ask if she wanted an abortion, she assumed it was the only natural response my mother could possibly have.

But my mother had already spent most of her young life serving others. She'd clean the house, rearrange furniture, help with whatever needed doing; she would even sit with my Nana in the hospital and drill the doctors as to what they were doing, when, and why (my Nana had many chronic illnesses including severe asthma).

My mother knew her life was about to change radically. She knew life was going to be difficult, complicated, and messy. She heard predictions from many in her life that she and (the as yet unborn I) would end up face down in a ditch someday. She was told she couldn't possibly succeed in life if she had a baby.

My mother chose to serve me instead of herself, and I was born 6 years after the legal decision that decreed I could have been aborted... should have been aborted according to the mind-set of some. And for what it's worth, not only did my mom and I not end up face down in a ditch, I was the first member of my family to earn a college degree, my mother is now married and she and my dad (who adopted me at the age of 14) have adopted 5 sons and 2 daughters who also could have been aborted, and in the minds of some should have been aborted. Their mothers were drug addicts, "intellectually disabled" (the term which has legally replaced mentally retarded), and mentally ill; and some of them even have mental or physical problems because of the lifestyles their mothers lived while pregnant...

And yet, all of us, in being served by my mom, and later my dad, also served them. At the time I was born my then 18 year old mother made many decisions which could have led her down an ugly path, a path which might have led to her ending up face down in a ditch. But she put me first. Her care and concern for me, her child, led her to make the decisions to which can be attributed the successful life she now lives.

And yet, I could have been aborted. We've all seen "It's a Wonderful Life" (or some take on it). We've all seen the story about how one life impacts so many-many others. But I could have been aborted, as so many have been aborted.

On this 38th anniversary of the decision that made abortion legal, I mourn the loss of the billions lives that could be here now, if only their parents had chosen to serve, and I ask you to ask yourself which is more important, the life of a child, or a life lived to serve oneself.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Eternal Rest Grant Unto Lavona Rann, SFO

My friend Lavona Rann, SFO, passed into eternal life around 7 pm December 23, 2010. Today was her funeral Mass, or Resurrection Mass as it was described on the program. As Lavona had so very-very many friends around the world who knew her through the world wide web, from LaPub to Facebook and everything in between, I wanted to share this with those of you who could only join us in spirit.

Below is the program (by which I mean the paper itself, NOT the Mass, which is a LITURGY not a "program"). Father Podwysocki focused his homily on the Beatitudes, and challenged us to ask ourselves if we are ready to face God if we should die today. He also encouraged us to pray for Lavona and said "Even if she is in heaven already, our prayers will not be wasted." Another point he made is that we must let Lavona go even as Mary once let Jesus go, and as Christians, we don't say "good-by", but "see you later".

A statue of the Holy Family, to the left of the altar, above and to the right of which is...

Next are the photos of the Altar, and Lavona's memorial in front of it.

In honor of another of Lavona's friends, here is "The View From the Back Pew" of the church, which hosts 10 Masses every weekend. They have English, Spanish, and Polish Masses (and hymnals!)

Here is Father, who graciously allowed me to take his photo when I asked, telling him that I thought you would all want to see him.

Photos of some of the Memorial Cards and Enrollments.

And last, but most assuredly not least, Lavona.
Born into life February 23, 1943
Born into eternity December 23, 2010

May the Angels lead you into paradise.