Something I had to “like”

I have a beautiful cousin who has recently battled breast cancer.

So when she posted this on Facebook–

I just used my boobs to get out of a ticket

I was pretty sure she had fallen prey to a game. But I thought, how do I not like this post?!

Either she has the sleekest, strongest sense of humor ever–able to reference the tough, painful, effacing road she has just travelled by poking fun at a reality that was never fun, or she has managed to wrangle herself out of a ticket as a double mastectomy survivor.

One way or other, she got my like.

This is me, posting on my wall, in honor of her–

I have never managed to do what you have done. Nope. Always got the tickets. Boobs never helped.

You are one of my heroes.

Not Just a Matter of Time

Today a baby in North Texas is receiving life-sustaining nourishment and medical care in a hospital. She is alive and growing and safe.

Until tomorrow when a judge has decreed that she and her medically fragile mother will be left to die.

The minimum requirement for you to retain your humanity is for you to think for one minute about the actual mechanism of death for that mother and child.

Will they starve?


Feel pain?

And would you want to face their fate?

I do not have to search the annals of history to know what Hippocrates would say about withholding medical treatment in order to kill.

Our pragmatism has rendered us savages, trading our souls for money.

Mark 8:37

Dear Mr. Educational Opportunity


First and foremost–thanks!!

I have been concerned about rising education costs and when Wendy Davis said

Every Texan deserves the educational opportunities I had.

I thought, amen sistah!

Well all I had to do was look up her bio and I figured out she was talking about you.

I am not sure about Ms. Davis, but man, you are the real deal–you took out loans, cashed in retirement money, did a lot of schlepping, and some old-fashioned parenting. All so she could go to Harvard!

She is right, every Texan could use a you.

And I am glad she has put you out there as a resource. Only…only…

Well, I have a few questions about the education you got for her.

For instance vocabulary.

Today Ms. Davis said “innuendo” when she talked about some of the discrepancies in her bio. I am pretty sure she meant to say “truth,”…

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Extending the Scope of “Soulless” to the Living

Make no mistake: the guy is worried about money.

And so are a lot of other people.

We live in a country where our most powerful democratic officials dispose of the innocent and medically fragile with great ease and increasingly callous language.

But these same officials urge us to believe that dangerous, violent offenders can be treated as harmless simply with the passage of time.

It takes money to raise a child.

It takes money to sustain life.

And it takes money to protect the innocent from criminals.

And because we do not want to spend this money we are extending the language of death to the living.

With monstrous consequences.

When ordinary people who pride themselves on their intelligence and compassion promote tenuous, highly subjective medical definitions that would have been unthinkable 10 years ago they are furthering a calculated agenda of regulating human worth and civil rights on fiscal policy.

The living have become “soulless” indeed and the “death panels” are here to stay.

In the presence of mine enemies

I linger over little bits of cake. My gentile version of honey cake, my American girl version of lebkuchen, all thanks to Peg + Cat.

The honey on the cake reminds me of John the Baptist’s least emulated diet ever.

I think of him scooping honey from the hives of desert bees, dipping his locusts in the honey. Wild food for a wild man? Or deliberate food for a grave robber? Was he eating that way as an afterthought or a prophesy?

At table with our enemies.

I don’t know when I began to identify the enemy of Psalm 23 as death and his minions–sickness, pain, grief, and loss, but I do.

These are our true enemies. And the answer, the only answer I have when the pain of this world’s griefs become unthinkable is to look at Jesus at the head of this table and know that he owns the meal: bugs and honey and all.

Wherefore Art Thou Wendy Davis?

After reading the usual raft of data on Ms. Davis’ confusion on the details of her own life story I went to the great oracle: Wikipedia.

An interesting read.

Back when she was fighting tooth-and-designer-trainers for Texas gals’ rights to terminate late-term babies Ms. Davis grabbed the podium with this narrative:

single mom
Shoe-string Harvard grad
Teen divorcee.

Turns out none of that is true.

She divorced her first husband when she was 21.

Her second husband funded her education and went into debt to send her to school.

He also picked up the slack on caring for the kids.

So much so that when they divorced he got full custody and she paid child support.

Wendy Davis–bringing new meaning to that old Texas assessment:

All hat, no cattle

…but those running shoes are spiffy.

Please, Wendy, do Texas a favor and run somewhere else.

The Safety Protocol

Before I thought these rules were enough:

Let your children know they can talk to you about anything.

Educate them about sex.

Tell them they will never get in trouble for telling the truth.

Tell them if someone tells them a “secret” then tells them they can’t tell their parents that is precisely the secret they should tell as soon as possible.

Never leave them with someone you don’t trust.

If they can talk, they will tell you if something happens…

Now I know these rules were woefully inadequate. Abusers, predators, capitalize on the innocence of children at all cost.

New rule (an addendum): never leave your child alone with someone you do not trust completely.

Narrows the field considerably.

Brain Dead vs. Coma

I guess, when it comes down to it, this is personal.

When I was researching this post three things coalesced for me:

I am a survivor of traumatic brain injury

My father did not survive his traumatic brain injury.

And this is a sensitive area where medicine becomes highly politicized and where the heart of the issue is money.

When I was in a medically-Induced coma as a child my parents were cautioned against my survival. They were told I would have brain damage, symptoms of psychiatric disorders, be a vegetable if I survived.

So when I did survive it was treated as a miracle.

I still consider it a miracle.

What if the hospital’s grim warning had spooked my parents? What if they did not want to be saddled with a messed -up, cognitively impaired vegetable?

What if they did not want to pay the bill for my care?

Fast forward years later:

My father’s life hangs in the balance after a helicopter crash. His surgeon does all he can to save him. Within two days my father’s life is gone.

I needed to know they did everything they could to save him.

Because the grief that came after was so eviscerating.

The truth is that the scales and diagnostics used to separate one brain injury victim from another are highly subjective.

In one case a family takes extraordinary efforts to preserve life.

In other cases the extraordinary efforts are fought to extinguish, not preserve life.

At what cost to the soul?

Not Exactly Standing for Texas Women

Imagine your daughter was on life support. Imagine she was pregnant with your grandchild. Imagine the story of how she sustained her injuries was unsubstantiated and raised serious questions.

Would you want her to live? Would you pray for a miracle? Would you fight to save your child and your grandchild?

Would you want the law to protect them?

You might. I would. Ms. Machado and NARAL would not.

They want both the mother and unborn child to be denied the chance for life and the crucial protection of the law.

Neither of these patients had DNR orders. There is no written record to suggest Ms. Munoz wanted her life terminated, much less the life of her unborn child. The surviving family insist they are sure Ms. Munoz would want to die.

Her family is fighting to have her life extinguished. The only protection she has is the law of the state of Texas.

No thanks to Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and Wendy Davis.