Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Life and Death in August of 1987

August 12, 1987 - Wadley Hospital, Texarkana.

Sometime during the day....

The nurse threw a set of scrubs at me and told me to put them on "quickly" and pointed me to a restroom just to my right. I remember juggling the scrubs as I moved into the room as quickly as I could. A weird mixture of fright, excitement, uncertainty and wonder filled my soul as I changed my clothes. The shoe covers were the last things that I put on and they kept catching on the bottom of my shoes. I hopped on one leg into the delivery room while struggling to put on the last cover.

An overwhelming silence stopped me in my tracks.

I had helped to deliver a baby in a bathroom of a McDonald's as a senior in college and remember that scene as loud and chaotic, complete with someone calling for "hot water" and "towels, we need towels!"

The scene before me was nothing like that. The room was bright and cold. Why is it that hospitals are always cold? The mood was somber and heavy, as if a gigantic weight was pressing down on all of us. In the space of a heartbeat, or maybe less,  my eyes fell upon the reason for the mood.

Laying on a delivery bed was my wife. My wife has always been stronger than she realizes, but at that moment she looked broken and empty and deeply wounded.

Just across the room from her, on a warming table, layour baby. Johnathan Michael was born at 23 weeks....too soon for a realistic chance at life 27 years ago. Even then, if we had been a hospital better equipped for such a premature infant...but there was no time. There was no time.

I remember my wife reaching out to me, calling me. My eyes and my heart were fixed on the tiny little form on that warming table. As I watched I saw his little body spasm and then become still. The nurses would later tell me that what I saw was just a natural part of the death process. I am convinced that I saw my son die.

Later that day a very wise, compassionate nurse brought Johnathan to us. She had cleaned him and wrapped him in a little blue blanket and put a little blue cap on his head. She brought us an unofficial certificate of birth, the kind you keep in a scrapbook and a camera. She urged us to spend time with him and take pictures of him.

Those few minutes are some of the most precious moments in my life. We counted fingers and toes, caressed his hair and wept and prayed. The nurses made sure that no one disturbed us in that quiet time. Like the rest of the event of that day, time stood still.

Johnathan would be 28 years old today. God has blessed us with other children and 19 month later Johnathan was gifted with a brother in heaven who we named Timothy. I can only imagine what our homecoming in heaven will be like one day. But for now I have 6 other children to love and cherish and guide/shepherd through life.

I have not watched the Planned Parenthood videos. I don't need to watch them to know that abortion is a sickening act that has no redeeming value. I know and have known many women who have had abortions, some of them more than one, and none of them see it now as a good thing. Compounding the issue is the profit motive. It is not enough that America has the blood of over 50 million innocent lives to account for....we now have compounded the issue with blood money. We have taken the lives of the innocent to improve our bottom line.

Don't give me any of the standard "it helps medical research" reasoning. The truth is that fetal experimentation had never given us any real advances that could not be achieved in other, less barbaric ways. I have a bad heart and diabetes, I know that my own health can be directly affected by medical research, but the buying and selling of fetal body parts is far beyond the line I would draw and far below the worth and value of all human life.

It is only a short step from disposing of inconvenient children to the disposing of the inconvenient elderly and those who bring no "contribution" to society because of mental or physical incapacity. Our collective memory has forgotten the atrocities of the Nazis against the Jews and the  experimentation of the Japanese on prisoners of war.

In our selfish quest for a "better" life and for "profit" we have become as barbaric as any great villain  or fictional monster from the past. God forgive us.

God save us.

God save the children.