Tuesday, April 27, 2010

April 27, 2010

When I was young, I remember my Grandmother telling me (I don't remember the conversation) that she was sure that Al Capone's mother loved him!

I couldn't imagine someone loving someone that killed people. In my immature mind, I couldn't comprehend that a mother or anyone for that matter, could love someone unconditionally....even if they were a murder or thief or a 'bad guy'.

As I grew up, I learned what it was to love someone for good and bad (not gangster bad) but someone who hurt your feelings, fight or argue with you and then make up and be friends again. These are lessons we learn when we are young with our friends. Having parents that loved me and were there for me also taught me a lesson of love and faith and comfort of knowing someone loved me, didn't matter if I was fat/skinny, ugly/beautiful, bratty/well behaved, they even loved me when I had zits on my chin!!

When I became a teenager, I tested their love more than anyone could imagine, and when I got myself in with the wrong crowd and in a lot of trouble, they still loved me! What was up with that? I couldn't understand why!

As approached my 20's I realized what a 'bitch' I was to my parents when I was a teen, and I even told my mother "I can't believe you still love me after what I put you through when I was a teenager' and she just smiled.

Finally, when I had my own baby I finally realized that I couldn't imagine loving anyone more than I did this tiny baby boy...except one night...I was living with my parents at that time, and I was up all night with a screaming, colicky baby...I hated him, I wanted to hit him, I wanted to shake him. To tell you the truth I don't know what stopped me. Finally, I quietly woke my mother up. I was crying, and I asked her to help me (my then husband never woke up). The baby quietened down eventually with my mother rocking him, and I told her that I "hated the baby. I made a decision and tomorrow I am going to the adoption agency and give him up for adoption, there are many people out there that would love a baby, and I hate him. I hate him and I don't want him anymore"!

My mother sat there, she didn't have a look of shock or pity or anger. She just nodded and said "I understand..I will drive you". I thought to myself 'that was easy' and I felt so much better. She put the baby down to sleep and I crawled into bed myself exhausted and relieved that there was a resolution to my 'problem'.

I woke up late in the morning. My baby didn't wake up! I panicked...I ran to his crib and he was sleeping like...a baby....The memories of the night before flooded back...I ran out to the kitchen where my mother was sitting, drinking her coffee. I panicked, I cried...'what is wrong with me, how could I have said those things, I love him more than air, I can't give him away, what kind of mother am I? What kind of person am I?"

My mother got up and hugged me..."I know Honey" she said "I know you love him, and I know you were just tired and frustrated, and I know you wouldn't give him away!"

I realized that my mother knew what I was going through, and in her wisdom, she just agreed with me instead of arguing, and she knew that when I woke up in the morning, I would have been devastated for even saying these things.

Again, she amazed me. She loved me through my bratty childhood, she loved me through my pukey teenager stage, she even loved me after I told her I hated my baby!

I have 2 amazing children now. My son is 27 and my daughter is 15. I would take a bullet for them. I would give them both my kidneys if they need them, I love them more than air, more than my own life, however both of them have given me challenges. They have both tested me, and I still love them. I will be there for them whether it is to attend court with them, or hold their hair when they are sick. Nothing in this world is more important than my children, and I get it now. I get it why my mom has been there through every stage of my life, even the ugly stages and still loves me with all her being, UNCONDITIONALLY. I also get it why, even though he was a dangerous gangster, Al Capone's mother still loved him.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

April 25, 2010

I was a bit hesitant to blog about this subject, but I'm going to throw it out there. I've already talked about religion, and I know nothing about politics, but euthanasia is my subject today!

Euthanasia comes from the Greek meaning 'good death' or 'practice of ending life in a painless manner'....this subject just didn't pop in my head, I watched a movie last night about Dr. Kevorkian called "You Don't Know Jack" and, no, I didn't have a clue about Jack.

He was a bit of a funny man, almost like an absent minded professor. He wasn't an evil man, the kind of man the press made him out to be. He was very empathic and caring who never solicited patients, he was sought and actually turned down 90 to 95% of the people. Dr. Kevorkian assisted over 130 people end their lives. Each of the patients were terminal. He interviewed each patient and taped each interview.

During one of the patients death, the camera's panned off to the pictures of the man the patient used to be. He was a pilot, in the air force, all his army pictures were arranged on a mantel showing a strong, viral man who had control of his destiny and now he is a shrivelled up old man dying of lung cancer. I understood at that moment why it was so important that for a dignified demise for such a proud man...and that he was allowed to make a choice.

So many arguments about euthanasia. When my beloved dog Phantom started to have seizures, and was discovered she had a brain tumour, I couldn't watch her suffer any longer. When the vet administered the needle, she was dead within 5 seconds. She looked like she was sleeping, and she was no longer in pain. When we went to pay the vet, she declined saying "it was an act of mercy". So what about a best friend or a loved one who have Lou Gehrig's disease, cancer or Parkinson's disease where they know they are not going to get any better.

Dr. Kevorkian didn't actually kill the patients. He was once a pathologist, and with an Erector set he purchased at a garage sale, set up a system with 3 different drugs, (something to relax, something to put you to sleep, and something to make the heart stop) he would hook up the patient with the IV, however the patient was in control on whether or not to set the drip to start. This is how he got away with 130 assisted deaths, because he didn't actually kill the patient.

During the movie, he was asked why he started a career of mercy killings, and he said that his mother had cancer when he was a young boy, and he had to watch her die a long and painful death. She told him to "imagine the worst toothache in your life....not imagine your entire body feeling that same pain, and nothing makes it go away". Wow...that really blew me away, to be in that much pain, knowing there is nothing medically can be done for just have to wait and die.

I have to say that if or when I get old and diseased and I am suffering a long and painful illness, that there is a Dr. Kevorkian out there that will help me. Let me die with some dignity like my dog Phantom did.