RIPPLES Life is Worth the Effort

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 11, 2000

ERIK SANZENBACH / L’Observateur / July 11, 2000

A really beautiful fluffy white cloud caught my eye as soon as I stepped out onto my deck the other morning. I had been thinking, sadly, of theSupreme Court’s ruling on late-term abortions. This exquisite cloudquickly brought to mind all who had lived and seen nature at its best and, those who were denied life and a chance to see it.

The next day my young friend Dr. Dana and I took a familiar route to NewOrleans and what we call “Fr. Seelos’ church.” In contrast to the SupremeCourt’s decision, people came down the aisle, white, black, orientals, men and women, all clutching their babies close to their chests as precious possessions. And, I thought of all those who would never know the feelingof loving arms.

As we later stood at the altar for a special blessing, a woman holding her baby boy was proud to tell us that he had been baptized in that church. “Iam 40 years old,” she said, “so he is my first and last and I am so grateful.” Then, a neighbor of mine, proudly cuddling and kissing her newgrandbaby, said, “I don’t know what we did without her.”I have a bunch of nephews and a few nieces and I wish I had more, especially since they are growing so fast and finding their own way. Notbeing a parent, I have always had a sense of pride in them. It has been athrill to see the offspring of my brothers and sisters, and now some of them are producing another generation, and they are all part of me. Surelymany of you have the same feeling when you get together with family and you are refereeing games, soothing bruised knees and passing the new babies around. In other words, I am thankful these children were born. For years I played tennis with women who had young children. Havingchildren run onto the tennis court or having to stop a game to tend to their needs or give a reprimand was common. Now most of those children areteen-agers or in college and some new people I play with are young so we still have children hanging around. Having been born, they are here, doingwhat children do, and life goes on. Or it should.When you think about it life must be worth the effort. Unfortunately, somehave despaired, but not nearly as many that have taken every means possible to continue or prolong life, even in dreaded illnesses. There areso many sunsets to be seen, not to mention the sunrises. There are flowersto blossom, trees to grow, grass to turn green and cloudy skies to clear.

The sound of waves pounding the seashore, the babbling of a brook, or even, in my case, the sound of water from the fountain in my pond, all proclaim the wonders of being alive. So many familiarity in our lives. Youmay never know how dear these things can be to you unless your life is threatened. I know this. If these entities have meaning for us, wouldn’t ithave been the same way for those whose chance at life was cut short? I truly believe our first choice is to procreate or to not procreate. Afterthat, we all choose to live, and if we have that decision to make for someone else, it must also be to live. The Supreme Court decisionfrightens me. Remember Johnny Ray’s song, “The Little White Cloud thatCried?” Back to Top

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