Wednesday, March 30, 2005

A bus ride ...

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals one-sentence order said: "The Appellant's emergency motion for leave to file out of time is granted." Three times last week, the court ruled against the Schindlers.

Three times in the past this court has ruled against their motions to have the feeding tube reinserted. Three times they have dashed the hopes of the Schindlers in their efforts. Suddenly, for whatever reason, they extended the deadline for the Schindlers right to appeal. They didn't say they would uphold the appeal. They didn't say they would reverse the decisions that they themselves had made earlier. They didn't really offer the Schindlers any real hope or chance for a victory.

False hope is just a bus ride between prisons.

This is a sticky wicket. I can identify with both parties. I can identify with the husband, as I do know my wife's wishes should we ever be in this place. The rest of her family knows her wishes as well. I would honor my wife's wishes.

I can identify with the parents as well. I have children. The thought of having to make such a decision for one of them, or standing by while one of their husbands made that decision, is horrific to me. When you read the accounts of these more famous patients, you can see that this tragedy is not that far from any of us. There were no special conditions that precipitated these cases. They came out of the blue. In the absence of any expressed wishes from my children, I am sure that I would fight until my last breath to save them.

I do not know how I would be able to accept that my child was not there anymore. How could I let go of one of my precious lights? How could I stop seeing her through eyes of memory? How could I walk out of my heart and see her with only my mind?

The same is true of my wife. I will tell you that she has told me she does not want to be kept alive artificially. She has given me her wishes should we ever be in this position. Still, knowing her desire, it will be hard to let go. It is the paradox of love. How can I love her enough to let her go when my every fiber screams with the love the demands I keep her?

God willing, I will never know.
God willing, I will never have to make that decision.

It just rings in my ears. False hope is just a bus ride between prisons. I don't remember when I wrote that. I know I never finished the poem of which it was to be a part. Maybe soon.

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