I Kept My Promise
The other night I was thinking about different women who have inspired me through the years. Some you have heard of, others you probably haven’t. One woman held onto my attention: Terry Schiavo. Hear me out, this isn’t not meant to be a life vs. death debate. This is a story about true love. A beautiful promise, made and kept.
For those who don’t know the specifics, let me give you a quick re-cap. Teri Schiavo was a young woman when she collapsed from a cardiac arrest in 1990. The length of time she went without oxygen left her with severe brain damage. Legally speaking, she was left in a vegetative state.
At first, her parents and husband, Michael, were squarely on the same side. They went together to many specialists and cooperated in providing her care. This all changed when they received the unfortunate news that Terri was never going to improve. Never. At this moment, the two parties went separate ways. Her parents fought to keep her living, her husband fought to let her pass.
Here is the thing: Terri was in a vegetative state for many years. Michael did eventually start a relationship and have kids with another woman. Terri’s parents begged him to divorce their daughter, but he made a promise. He vowed that if this situation were ever to arise, he would never let her live by artificial means of support. He was going to stand by his word because many years before that, he proclaimed “‘til death do us part”.
In 2005, a judge ordered the removal of Terri’s feeding tube. Many appeals by the parents and protests accusing the husband of murder fueled a national debate. The President of the United States even signed legislature designed to keep Terri alive but it wasn’t enough. Finally, all legal avenues had been exhausted and the Terri Schiavo trial came to an end. The tube stayed out and on March 31, 2005, Terri Schiavo passed away. Her grave stone reads “I kept my promise.”
In my opinion, this is a man of great honor. A cut from the old days when chivalry was alive and well. He made his wife a promise and he was going to keep it. The one thing that has never been questioned was his love for Terri. He went against the media, grieving parents and the President to ensure his wife’s wishes were honored - that is true love.
Ultimately, our spouses know us better than our parents. Sure, our parents knew us as kids, but as adults, the one we share a bed with is who truly knows our heart. I do feel huge remorse for her parents, but their wishes were for their comfort. They didn’t want to let her go, who could fault them?
A love story. A simple promise. Yet, in the end, when all was said and done, he had kept his word. I hope his new life and family understand what a hero he is. This is a man who understands honor and commitment. One phrase says it all: “I kept my promise.”
Let’s talk again tomorrow. I will bring the coffee. -Ruth
#TerriSchiavo #life #love #death