On Memorial Day, we pause to remember those we love who have gone before us. Most have good memories of the person(s) we grieve and are at peace with the manner in which we assisted our loved one(s) at the time of our dying.
Three years after her death, Terri Schindler Schiavo’s family is left with the heartache of the excruciating pain endured by Terri — and them — for 13 days as Terri was starved and dehydrated by court order while the nation watched.
At the core of the order which left a helpless Terri in this predicament was the insistence of her husband that Terri told him she did not want to live in an incapacitated state. Terri’s family insisted, to no avail, that Terri’s values were as pro-life as theirs and that she wanted to live.
In a touching new development, Terri’s mother, Mary Schindler, recently found a note written by Terri in 1984 before she married Michael Schiavo. It reads as follows:
“Today I shall begin a life of my own
just as you did some years ago;
With me shall go the values you taught
the caring you’ve shown, the love that has grown;
and the meaning in a home.
And if when I have a child as you did
it will be given the same love and understanding
that was given to me.”
This beautiful note cannot bring Terri back, nor convince a judge that she indeed wanted to live. But, in the words of Terri’s brother, Bobby Schindler, “It comforts us to know that Terri embraced the values my parents taught us as children — the importance of faith, family and unconditional love.”