To the editor:
I spent Mother’s Day today with my wife, mother of my children, and just returned from visiting my own mother. Their love and care is made real through the sacrifices — physical and emotional — they make. Other mothers in my life experienced suffering in life as well as in death. Pancreatic cancer and dementia tormented my grandmothers. My beloved mother-in-law fought intestinal cancer for many years. They all had hopeless, terminal diagnoses, but faced their deaths heroically, an inspiration to family and friends. They all accepted their fates and likely joined the rest of us in praying that a timely death would end their suffering. But they were part of a culture that valued human life from conception to natural death, and would be sad to read recent columns from young ladies, perhaps future mothers, who argued for acceptance of ending innocent human life.
I am a weak man; even on Mother’s Day, I am grateful to be a father instead and avoid the pain of bringing my children into the world. I hope, God willing, to be spared a painful death. As a veterinarian, I daily participate in ending the suffering of beloved family pets. Although needed, it is always a sad and depressing event, not the liberating or empowering experience that some human euthanasia proponents portray. Most involve a gut-wrenching decision regarding when is the time when the suffering is too much to offset the joy of living. As we are good and loving stewards of our pets’ lives, we have a good and loving God who is steward of our lives. Our love and mercy for our pets is tiny compared to His for us. We struggle to decide when the time is right; He knows and will provide it at the time that is of most benefit to us and those we love.
In a culture when terrorist killings, abortion, mass shootings and heroin overdoses are commonplace, we do not need more ways to take human life. I hope that we can acknowledge that life is beautiful. I encourage you to listen to another beautiful young mother in the same situation as Brittany Maynard who has made a life-affirming choice to face her death with dignity. Check out the Youtube video of Lizz Lovett. I think you will be inspired by a woman who exemplifies all that we love about our mothers.