And then there is Jack
still in his
twenties and grateful to be alive.He's
learned how to transport himself and to succeed in his
job despite being paralyzed in an accident not too long ago.He's
got heart and grit.He
hopes one day to be free of his
Gwen is one of those people of noble character who has affected so many lives with her
generosity and wisdom.Behind her
beautiful blue eyes is a sharp and incisive mind imprisoned by a body which is betraying her
.She has ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), which destroys the body while leaving the mind fully functional.Her
good humor and wit still inspire her
friends whenever she
is able to communicate as she
does in increasingly creative ways.
When Joyce comes to the altar rail to receive her
communion each Sunday, her
knotted hands open in a delicate, curled manner.Each joint has swollen nodes of rheumatoid arthritis that resisting even simple motions to open and close.She bears the patterned lines of scars from various surgeries that have rendered some slight mobility gains.
Jennifer is a teenager who sings in the children's choir.For years she
has lived with early onset diabetes.Each year she
gives herself hundreds of insulin shots.She
has to be so vigilant about her
diet and attentive to the signals from her
lives with cares and worries that seem so heavy for such a young one.
Sometimes Mary calls her
husband of 48 years "that nice man who visits me." She
wondered who the attractive woman was when her
daughter brought their grandchild to meet her
.Alzheimer's has taken away much of Mary's spirit and most of her
memory.Seizures and other bodily malfunctions are following now.There was a time when she was the social and recreational director for a nursing home.
sits and watches blankly as someone else does that job.
I believe President Bush's veto and our congressman John Boozman's
vote to sustain that veto last week was life destroying not life giving.Let our scientists use their gifts to find new hope for life -- for God's sake -- and for the sake of Margaret and Sarah and Jack
and Gwen and Joyce and Jennifer and Mary and thousands like them.