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April 4th, 2005

Please rest in peace, Terry Schiavo.

You weighed 200 pounds in high school and were 5’3″. Your teachers don’t really recall what kind of student you were. You were adored by your best friend and family, and what else does a girl need? Then came along what’s-his-name, let’s call him Susan, shall we? Your first love, your first kiss, your first and only husband, and after you were wed, he liked the new you — down to a svelte 110 pounds. But Susan was worried that those pounds would come creeping back, and said it would be D-I-V-O-R-C-E if they did.

So what else is a girl to do but stop eating and start obsessing? And crying about Susan. Stay? Leave? Work out again? Cuz when you’re hungry — for food, or love, or a guy who loves you even if you’re extra curvy, or just something more to life than shades of gray — there are usually lots of tears.

Of course you needed to make a Living Will. Of course you meant to make arrangements Just in Case. But first you had to lose five pounds. And who has time to make a will when she’s 25? Then your heart stopped.

WM is all about choices — choosing not to be force fed, choosing to be force fed, kept alive, let go — but all I keep thinking is — he was supposed to be her first husband, not her only husband. And I don’t like that he was the one calling the shots. With his new girl, and two new kids.

I’ve changed so much between 25 and 40 — the kids, the house, my writing, my world. My gardening skills. My ass. My breasts. I mourn that Terry didn’t get to really live for those next 15 years, cuz 25 is sometimes fun, but it’s not always that fun. And from 25 to 40 can be really, really good. Once you find your next husband, the right one, who loves your ass, and buys you truffles for Valentine’s Day, and mows the lawn in the rain cuz you asked him to. The one who makes you pasta with browned butter and extra grated cheese, cuz he knows it’s your favorite. Who encourages you, not discourages you. Who says he will bury you in the ground, if God forbid, you go before him, cuz he knows he knows he knows you don’t want to be cremated (even though he does) you want to be buried in your family’s plot.

That kind of love, knowing that someone backs you up, on the huge decisions and small ones — that feels good.

I wish Susan had filed for divorce and left Terry alone. Given her back to her family. God forbid that my boyfriend at age 25, had we been married, had I stopped eating and had a heart attack, would have been the Guy in Charge of me for the next 15 years. I would have been cremated, too, instead of being with my family.

1 Comment

  1. WackyDaddy says

    Okay, so her hubby is an asshole. But so are her parents. Does the fact that Michael Shiavo may have driven her to the state she was in justify keeping her on life support for 15 years after all medical hope was lost?

    It is not vindication of Michael Shiavo to say that the Shindlers are money grubbing right-wing political opportunist assholes themselves. Why were they so keen on getting a piece of that million dollar settlement?

    What purpose (other than political) was there in keeping Terry Shiavo’s body alive? Remember, there was no medical dissent about her state. Terry Shiavo was gone 15 years before her body died, and only religious extremists believed in the fantasy that divine intervention (enabled by Bush family political intervention) would bring her back.

    The fact that Michael Shiavo might have been an asshole who pushed his wife to self-starvation does not justify force feeding her body indefinitely. You say he should have just divorced her and turned her over to her parents. For what? So they could keep her body alive as a prop in their right-wing religious fundamentalist anti-abortion charade?

    The best thing for her is that she can no longer be passed around like a juggling ball in a socio-political circus side show. May she rest in peace.

    April 4th, 2005 | #

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