I'm not sure if Regina's lesson above is a Pro Life statement or the mantra of a cancer survivor. It could be applied in either way, and probably in many others. I was thinking about the abortion side of things just yesterday. I saw a bumper sticker that said "Smile. Your mother chose life." I got to thinking how that might not necessarily be true for some children of my generation since pregnant women prior to 1973 did not truly have a choice. Abortion was illegal and having one carried a big health risk to the woman, not to mention the societal implications involved.
I have always been supportive of a woman's right to choose. And I have also been a big admirer of adoptive parents and the emotional challenge the world of adoption creates for all involved. It has always made me wonder why a birth defect would be reason to give up on a pregnancy, since the sweetest person I know is mentally retarded and thriving in this world, bringing joy to everyone she meets. I don't think that I personally could go through with an abortion, but understand that there are situations where others could feel differently and they have the right to make a different decision.
Having brought a little person into this world recently, I am filled with excitement and wonder over the person he will grow to be. I look into those eyes pictured above - those bright shining pools of love - and think that he will see and accomplish great things. I didn't choose life - it was never an option for me. He was wanted and hoped for, for a very long time. As far as I can tell, life chose me in this situation.
As for those facing their own death, I have known some who gave in. I wouldn't say that they gave up. People diagnosed with terminal diseases are fighters. They don't give up, they fight. But sometimes that fight wears them down. And it has been so long and painful - for them and for their loved ones - that they give in to the fight believing that their loved ones will be better off, or that their soul will find peace. I have also known some who dipped into wells of energy and determination that I didn't know were possible. They have seen their loved ones as motivation or inspiration. They beat the odds; survived their sentence. They chose to live and used that desire to aid in their return to wellness.
Life is precious. There is no doubt about that. That is why so many see suicide as selfish. I know that is not true. Mental illness, extreme pain, abandonment, addiction - these things can create a world of pain that souls live with alone in their heads. They don't feel there is a choice. Life is excruciating. They are looking for a solution. Death appears to be the only option. Suicide is a great tragedy to me. Those who need help the most are silent in life and the rest of us only learn of the depths of their inner despair until it is too late.
I will always choose life. For myself - by making healthy choices, by following a safer path, by acknowledging moments where I need the help of others to get me through. For those whose lives I am able to protect - by raising my son, by caring for my friends, my family, and of course my kitty. I value life and celebrate the gift that it is. I try to be productive with mine. Choosing life is a powerful decision. Living a good life honors that choice.