These are the stories that horrify me–not because I am disabled, or because I fear I may be one day (which I well may be) but because my husband is and I love him so deeply that even Romeo and Juliet could not understand. Besides, they were kids. What does a kid know about love? Real love? Love that endures past frustration when your husband can’t understand you because he’s deaf and love that endures past common sense when you realize him walking to the store means that you have to trust every person he walks past or that drives on the street before him, including him. Can they see the angels that help him? Did Romeo ever tell his best friend that Juliet was the best of all women and she would be even if she were a toothless old hag? Did Juliet ever tell her nurse that Romeo would give his blood to gain his last gold coin to buy her a pair of pearl earrings if she had asked for them? They hadn’t lived long enough to grow past passion and into the deepness. Romeo didn’t have to see stretch marks, hear Juliet scream at the kids, or endure her crying during PMS and Juliet never was a NFL widow.
Did Juliet ever think “What happens to him when I am gone?” What if Romeo fell down a shaft and becomes suddenly Stephen Hawking, without the fancy computer? Does someone else decide his life is ‘valuable?’ Does someone pull a Michael Schaivo and end his care because they don’t think he would want to live doing nothing but thinking of how the universe is structured?
This is what I think of.
To people who want to die rather than ever live like Terry Schaivo, get a physicians directive. Do not leave these things to other people and especially not the government. Do not scare the rest of us, who happen to love the disabled people we live with, with the threat of interference by someone who doesn’t love them or by someone who is so compassionate, they want to kill them/you/us.
What if someone, with the tyranny of ‘compassion’ read old journal entries and decided that my husband was not happy living as he is, because I guarantee you they can find ‘evidence’ that he isn’t happy living as a deaf and blind person. But if you looked at my old journal entries, you could find evidence that I never wanted to live with another man ever again.
Everyone is so compassionate nowadays. They want to save you from being fat (see my blog on Michelle Obama and happy Fat Hobbits), or sick, or poor, or frustrated, or offended, or in an accident, when the truth is you can’t save anyone from any of these things – not unless you want to completely run their lives, from start to finish, in a bubble of your tyranny. We don’t do it to zoo animals–why do we think it’s right for people? How can you possibly prefer a free range chicken and desire a caged human? We don’t know what’s in a chickens head, but we still ‘know’ it would rather be free. If you starved a chicken to death, you would be subject to fines and law suits. But in Florida, you can starve a woman to death and not even her family can stop you.
This is what scares me.
This is what I fight against.
I will just point out that *I* like kids with Downs, deafblind men and most women with CP and I am willing to pay extra in charity to help them. I would rather you left the disabled alone completely than decide, in your compassionate tyranny, how they would prefer to live. How about just accepting that I prefer them to live?
I fear the compassion that decides what is best for other people instead of letting them choose for themselves, even if they are wrong–or at the very least, erring on the side of life, the possibility that people LIKE to be alive. I won’t point out that Hitler started his eradication campaign with the disabled, or all the Eugenicists that were in American Universities that wanted you to “prove your value to society,” how about you prove YOUR value to ME? You cost me money, you tax me, you decide what I can and can’t have. You don’t love me. You don’t improve my life and you don’t do windows or laundry. You can’t even make me LAUGH. Well that doesn’t work here. Not in this house and by God, if there isn’t somewhere I can go where I can live the way I think is best, with or without laundry, I might even take Newt up on his Moon Colony.