Tuesday, Mar. 22, 2005 | 10:02 a.m.

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Decisions & Ruminations

Much searching of parts of my psyche over the past two days. I'm going in to see K this afternoon and will be letting her know that this job just isn't going to work out for me. I wonder if that happens often? I'm betting not. At any rate, after I deliver that bit of news, I'm stopping at a major chain bookstore on the way home to put in an application and talk to the district manager. They're getting ready to open a new store very near the gym and I think there's a good chance I can get a job there. A bookstore is definitely more my speed, and a bookstore with a benefits package and decent pay is even better. So call me a corporate sell-out. Whatever.

Jeff's also making some decisions this week. We were both incredibly bummed when he had to leave last night to go to work. I appreciate my time home alone, but I'd really rather have it at a different time of the day. Or at least have him home by the time I go to sleep, usually around midnight. At any rate, unlike me, he won't be quitting his current job until he gets another one. Although technically, I'm not sure if I'm quitting or not. I haven't actually worked a shift yet, but I am being paid for my training. Of course, that may disappear when I go in today, but I think I can kiss a whopping $14 off without too much pain. Anyway, back to Jeff. He has a board interview this week at ASU for this police aide job he's been working towards. It's the third step -- he already completed the physical and written test. Send him some major mojo tomorrow morning. It would be more money than he's making now and he really wants it.

I've been thinking about the Terri Schiavo situation for days now -- even though I avoid TV news like the plague, it's everywhere -- in blogs, on My Yahoo page, on internet forums and news sites everywhere. I found a great website the other night that really tries to take the Dragnet approach -- just the facts, ma'am -- and let readers make up their minds.

The only conclusion I can draw is that the politicians who are trying to manipulate this to their advantage are reprehensible. If there are bad guys in this scenario, it is them. Acting on morals, my ass. Concerned about Terri's life -- only as far as it furthers their political agenda. This isn't an issue for Washington, and anyone who thinks the Republicans are supporting this based on "moral values" is either naive or not paying attention. I'm not saying that there isn't a moral argument -- I'm saying that is not the true motivation for Congress and the President stepping in. There's a bigger agenda at work here.

I don't think Michael Schiavo is a money-grubbing monster. I think he's a husband who believes he is supporting his wife's wishes. I've come to this conclusion based on the fact that there is very little money left over from Terri's malpractice settlement and based on the fact that he has been offered more money on at least two occasions to sign over the right to guardianship and has refused. I say this based on watching him in interviews. So he moved on and began having another relationship, yeah. And if her body had died as he believed her brain has done, then most people would applaud that he waited as long as he did.

I don't think her parents are idiots -- I think they're religious people who are hoping for a miracle. I think they are being manipulated by doctors who want their money for "experimental" procedures and politicians who see an opportunity to further win the hearts of fundamentalists and anti-abortionists everywhere. I have deep empathy for their situation -- seeing a body that looks and smells like their daughter, that they believe responds to them, and wanting desperately to hold on to that -- I get it. They want to avoid her death. In the end, I don't agree with them, but I can feel where they are coming from.

I have spent long hours over the past few days thinking about what we would have done if this had been the case with Jasmine. Jasmine wasn't just on a feeding tube -- she was also on a ventilator. We had an option to put her on a heart/lung bypass machine and wait for another transplant, hoping it would work and that other organs wouldn't fail before then. We had an option for a surgery to see why she was bloating up with air -- to find the place in her lungs that had finally given out and started pushing out air. We had options to try to push her body which was so obviously trying to die to extraordinary lengths, we could have continued to prolong the inevitable, but ultimately, we did not. She had been through enough. We disconnected the life support. She was medicated and felt nothing -- I watched her face the whole time for signs of pain and there were none. Her body did what it had been trying to do for weeks. Free of intervention, it released her soul to a better place.

Jasmine was not brain-damaged, she was heavily sedated. Unconscious. There was a point the night after she died where the impact of that collapsed me and sent me into a dark, dark place. We could have turned down the sedation and she would have woken up and been Jasmine. I could have looked at her, I could have told her I loved her, I could have tried to explain the decision we were making. In fact, I felt a strong compulsion to do so -- especially the last. I wanted her to understand. But the doctors told us it would have been cruel to do so. She would have been in pain and very aware of not being able to breathe. She would have suffered so that I could clear my conscience.

I find myself reaching for a conclusion to this, but I can't come to one. I don't live in Florida, don't know the Schiavo or Schindler families personally and haven't spoken with the doctors. I have an opinion based on what I've read while looking for more information, but that's all it is -- my opinion. I do, however, have a right to be disgusted with the politicians who are brewing and cackling more than the busiest witch, thinking up ways to use Terri's life -- however long it may or may not be -- for their own agendas. And I worry that when all is said and done, they will have found a way to take away the choice a family has around death away. The implications are ugly and complex. If I could wish for something, it would be that the American public wake up and look beyond the heart-wrenching images, take a deep breath and just for a moment consider... consider the implications and yes, consider what you would want if you were Terri. I'm betting there are a fair amount who would not want to live like that. I'm one of them. And so, Jeff and I have created living wills. I hope they still have power if the time ever comes to use them.

One more set of questions to answer in response to this entry:

From nikki-lish:

Movie - 'The Notebook'
Book - 'Fetish', 'Split' & 'Covet' [3 part series] by Tara Moss
Artist - Delta Goodrem

(adding all to my "check-it-out" list)

Q1. What is the thing you most regret doing/not doing in your life?

When I started thinking about this question, my mind immediately went to the "bad" things I've done, or missed opportunities. But honestly, it's hard for me to regret anything I've done because I really believe it has all led to where I am today, and ultimately, I'm happy with that. The good and the bad -- all roads led to here. I am who I am for all that I ever screwed up or excelled. Besides, haven't you seen "The Butterfly Effect"? Bad shit happens when you try to fix things. ::grin::

Q2. What advice would you give about having/maintaining a good marriage?

One, communication is absolutely critical and must be worked on constantly. I don't believe there's such a thing as a time when you don't have to communicate anymore. Two, making marriage work is not easy. It requires compromise and absolute honesty, both with each other and with yourself. Three, sex has to be mind-blowing, at least part of the time. If it's not, there's no reward for all the freaking work!

Q3. Is there anyone in your life that you wish you had never met and why?

It's a short list, but yes, there have been a few. The thing is, I can't think of anyone who stays on that list permanently, because, well, because of the answer to question 1.

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Recent Entries ...
Go Here - Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2006
Short, But Sad Good-bye - Sunday, Oct. 16, 2005
Jasmine's Story ... Our Story - Friday, Sept. 30, 2005
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Twists & Turns - Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2005

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