Saturday, October 1, 2016

Every Human Life

October 2, 2016 is Respect Life Sunday and October itself, Respect Life month.

After recently losing my father, whom my brother and I cared for in home hospice while he suffered terribly as the result of a stroke and dementia for the last several years of his life, and with the Hyde amendment at risk of being repealed, though it's not much to offer, I still felt called, this year more strongly than ever, to a special remembrance of all life to be respected from conception through natural death.

Before attempting fiction novel writing, from a young age I wrote a lot of poetry, mainly with visions of those writings some day becoming song lyrics. That childhood dream didn't come to pass (my music composition skills are of the quality only a parent could smile indulgently at), but I did keep writing lyric style poetry off and on for many years after. This one, from the year 2000, was an attempt to recognize the preciousness of life.

Wonder Why

I thought I’d be a lot of things
Like children do, I dreamed
Of all of them, just not myself
Was preferable, it seemed
What, one in ten childhoods like that?
Two of those can’t bear the pain
And people mourn the wasted lives
Saying what a crying shame
Wonder why it’s not the same
A child who’d be a lot of things
If his mother’d let him be
Begins the struggle of his life
From day one, the fight, you see
What difference from the child who hurts
The child who will one day?
Why don’t the two have equal right
To overcome life’s pain?

His parents had high hopes for him
This young man gone so astray
Once such a boy, with charms and gifts
Needles have stripped away
But still, you know, they pray for him
In his quest to dull the pain
The system vows to change his life
To kill potential’s such a shame
Wonder why it’s not the same
A child who may or may not be
All his parents dreamed about
Is said to have some handicap
Ultrasound leaves not a doubt
What difference from a wounded mind
A body which must fight
For everything it makes of life
Who’s to judge who’s greater right?

She’d thought she’d be a lot of things
She who’s seen so many years
Some dreams she lived and some have died
Some could not survive her fears
Sometimes she thinks it’s all too much
What has she left but pain?
But her daughter’s girl has asked, “Who’s
Not to tell her’d be a shame
Wonder why it’s not the same
An old man lies alone in bed
No family to forget
His care has cost us quite a sum
I’m a burden, he suspects
No one to tell him differently
Except the nurse who earns her wage
And learns that she and him share much
He dreamed, she dreams; a shame
We don’t cherish all these lives the same
Wonder why
We don’t cherish all these lives the same?

Krisi Keley 2000

Likewise was a painting I did for a pro-life art show at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, Philadelphia, PA in November of 2009:

Where Babies Come From, Krisi Keley 2009

As a writer and, even more, a reader, it's difficult not to quote a line from a favorite book that seems to sum up rather succinctly what respecting life from conception through natural death means to a Catholic like myself, even if the quote wasn't originally referring to any particular moral, religious or political position on the matter.

"We're all human, aren't we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving." Kingsley Shacklebolt, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Photo courtesy Heartbeat International via Pinterest

Life is a precious gift, every human life is worth the same and must be cherished in every stage and in every condition of physical, mental and spiritual health. I thank my father, an array of recent difficult life circumstances and the Lord for reminding me of that and for helping me to attempt getting my priorities in order. Though the above meager shares of my own work show my contribution thus far has been much too little, my prayers, today and every day, with all those who dedicate themselves to defending life as well as with the lives they defend.

Picture courtesy of Respect Life Program, copyright 2016, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved.