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...a sweatshop of moxie

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Three Lives

I'm sure you've noticed by now that I rarely comment on the cotidian, the mundane, the headline news. I do so on purpose, and it has to do with my personality as much as anything.

Perhaps this response goes some way into explaining why I don't comment on my medical career, unlike this eponymous blogger. Ech. Just looking at that blog makes me wince. My blog is a safe haven, a bit of fun on the side, a merry gambol in blogosphere. It is not topical.

Except for today.

Three people whose names are being flashed all over the wires will get my attention today, because I admit to you, I am the kind of person who is affected by death...deeply. I can forgive just about any silliness in life, except where death is concerned. Any person who I reviled in life will get my silence on the day of his passing, just because. I've always been like that, too. Even as a child.

Terri Schiavo, the 42-year-old woman in a coma here in Central Florida, has passed away Thursday.

She was presumed to be in a persistent vegetative state after 15 years, and only a bitter dispute between her husband and her parents, allowed this situation to decline into notoriety. Her death was demi-politicised, with a battle royale being waged in her name by the 3 branches of US government: the Legislative, the Judiciary, the Executive. Add to that the Fourth Estate, with their predatory role, and we the general public, its often passive audience, and you can imagine the drama we've lived through for a fortnight.

I will put your curiosity to an end -- I was against letting her die, full stop.

When confronted with a choice between life or death in the innocent, let them live I say. And not to be maudlin, but I've today written out, in a little bit of paper lying around, a Living Will, spurred on by the ramifications of this case. Of course, my parents already know my wishes...but Courts tend to err on the side of writing. Allegedly.

Like the Elian case, this has provoked a wide-range of reactions nearer to home in Florida. Some were against legislative interventions. Some were for them. And unlike the Blue-Red State divides, (unreliable though they are) polls consistently showed an uneven sprinkling of viewpoints not based on political parties. I myself didn't know what to think.

But today one of my attending physicians, a vociferous Democrat who still sports a Kerry sticker on his Gladstone bag, said he was aghast at these poll results, and perhaps they showed that maybe the "Christian looneys" didn't have a death grip on the electorate after all. I just rolled my eyes and walked away.

If there was one occasion not to make some politically charged comment or even to reach out to the other side by meeting them half way, this day was it. Shame Congresswoman Pelosi didn't see it that way, despite Rev. Jesse Jackson (is he a Christian looney too, I wonder) showing that the two viewpoints need not be entrenched in "platforms".

I see she and others didn't have much against the government intervening to forcibly alter a little Cuban boy's life, despite his dead mother's wishes. I suppose hearsay didn't count then, but it counts today. How vile.

But there it is.

Government only has some power in this country, and as each bid to reappeal the judicial decisions mounted, their limitation vis-à-vis the Courts was there for all to see. The President, his brother, the Governor of Florida, and their wishes were as nothing compared to the balance of power reaffirmed in this case. Maybe tomorrow the law will be changed. But today the law was upheld. If there can be said to be a "winner" in this vulgar contest of wills, it is the system which comes out victorious. The textbook definition of a pyrrhic victory.

As I write, it's possible that the last hours of the Pope, John Paul II, are here.

You've seen me irreverently wonder who his successor would be in another post, a thread I really liked at that, but today the situation is a little graver.

The Last Rites have been read him, just like moments after he was shot in St. Peter's Square, back in 1981. For an 83-year old man to have 4 continous months of bad health, 2 spells in hospital, including a tracheaotomy, and to acquire UTI of a sudden...well, let's just say I'd be surprised if he lives over the weekend. May God preserve him as long as he's able to though.

And finally, Prince Albert of Monaco today assumed full sovereign powers in the small State of Monaco. His 81-year-old father, Prince Rainier III, named by his subjects "Le Prince Batisseur" for being present at the "christenings" of so many buildings in his long 49 year reign, is in critical condition, even having been pronounced dead by Time Magazine. That Tuesday deadline can be a biotch.

But no, to the best of our knowledge, the widower of the beautiful Grace Kelly, lives. Just.

A young American woman, two aged European men. 3 very different people. 3 very different lives. I don't suppose their existences mean anything in the great scheme of things, but for one moment, they intersected in this world.

And that day was today.


  • Nicely written, Vic. Far too religious of course, but well written.

    By Blogger Steve, at Fri Apr 01, 01:44:00 am GMT-5  

  • Thank you, Steve. I checked your blog just now, and see that the Sprouts have not yet bud open, so get to it! ;)

    As for the Pope, I came home for lunch from hospital, and I am really glad I did, since I was able to IRC and speak to others, not all of whom are Catholics, which gives the situation an airiness not present if I had been with, say, my mother who is taking his passing hard.

    Vigils can be macabre, but they can also be cleansing, since there is "closure" as the seconds tick away.

    Anyway, we wait, don't we.


    By Blogger vbspurs, at Fri Apr 01, 03:53:00 pm GMT-5  

  • It's been a wretched week in the world, no doubt.

    But at least we spanked the Guats...

    By Blogger JSU, at Fri Apr 01, 06:08:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Ever since my family dog died, I tell you JSU, it's been a rollercoaster of death in my immediate circle and outside.

    Maybe that's just the way of the world, but after a while, you begin to wonder -- who's next...

    Let's hope it ends now.


    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sat Apr 02, 06:03:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Not to be irreverent, but if you like chicken, you might be mourning the passing of Mr. Purdue, he was 84.

    By Blogger Jorge, at Sun Apr 03, 12:59:00 am GMT-5  

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