My immediate family and I watched as she breathed her last breath, her heart beat its last beat, and her soul flew confidently toward the universe.
She had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. What a mild phrase that has such impact: "You're going to die, your insides are going to be eaten alive, sorry."
She suffered a further medical insult, and had emergency surgery. I remember the surgeon saying "Well, I tried to fix the problem, but she was so full of cancer..."
She actually seemed to improve after surgery, she seemed a little fiesty and engaged. But she took a turn for the worse.
Her consciousness faded, and her breathing needed help, so she was intubated. Her temperature soared to 110 degrees. All attempts to ease her suffering seemed futile.
After 2 days, when we accepted that she was dying, we (my other sister and I) discussed and decided that we would end further treatment, with one exception: we would keep the breathing tube in. It was our feeling that if there was any chance she was still in there, we didn't want her to feel like she was suffocating.
The hospital followed our wishes, and called the Doctor, who ordered treatment stopped.
But minutes later, in a virtual coma, she died. My brother, my other sister & her husband, my mother, and my wife were all there to kiss her and tell her we loved her as she began the next journey.
So I feel I have some perspective on the Terri Schiavo situation. And here's my opinion:
No politician who has ever voted for the '99 Texas Advance Directives Act has any right to be involved,
No politician who has violated the ethics of his previous profession has any right to be involved,
And no politician who has:
mocked a condemned prisoner,
voted for phony Tort Reform legislation which would stop payment of insurance settlements to people like Terri Schiavo,
voted against DNA challenges in capital cases,
refused to examine death warrants in Texas,
talked about Terri Schiavo as being delivered to him for political gain,
voted against States Rights in blatant disregard of the Constitution,
has any right to be involved.
If they do, then God damn them.
Update: When I first wrote this last night, it was longer. I hit the "Publish Post" button and Blogger ate it. I was very tired, half asleep frankly, and so I recreated it as best I could. But today I realized I left out some pertinent info, some of which I have now added in.
So long, and thanks for listening.