Fonticulus Fides

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

The Confrontation

So my mom called the other day, shortly after I blogged about Laurel's baptism. She gave me a little more information about my aunt & uncle -- including news that they had informed their daughter of their intentions ahead of time, how Susan is coping (not very well; she's terribly distraught as you can imagine), etc.

At one point, Mom said, "I hope you don't think badly of Aunt Diane and Uncle Bob for doing this." Which was pretty much an invitation for me to do as Fr. W. counselled and say what God had established as truth. So off I went on a wing and a prayer. I said, "Well, you know I'm coming at this from a faith that says we can't kill, not even ourselves." I tried to be measured in my words for the next part. "It's not that I think they're evil or anything," I said, "I'm just sorry. Sorry that they felt like they had to do this."

We talked a little more. Mom still in favor of the double-suicide. Me trying to focus on how God can work through suffering, how miracles still happen, etc. Mom brought up a weird tagent about Dr. Kevorkian and how great he was, and I said flat out that I was not impressed with him. I talked about how legalized euthanasia was dangerous, using her own mom (who was unable to speak after a stroke) and Terri Schiavo as examples.

I thought it went pretty well. Until yesterday, when Mom called again. I rarely get two phone calls a month from my mom, let alone two on consecutive days. So I knew something was up.

Turns out she woke up at 4 a.m. fretting about our conversation. She said she felt like she "participated in something negative about Diane and Bob" and since she just lost them, she didn't want to do that.

Now, I'm really hormonal these days, so don't rely on my judgement of things, but that just ticked me off. I get really tired of simply stating my opinion and not condemning any individual and then listening to the other person's opinion, only to have that person come back and say that I'm too judgemental. Why can't people just have opposite opinions?

I suppose because I mentioned God as my reason for believing what I do. Siiiigh. That'll get you a "judgemental" label every time.

So I said again that I was simply sorry that Diane and Bob came down to such a choice. That I don't consider being sorry either a negative or positive statement about their choice. I said I disagreed with their choice but I knew it was their choice to make.

And then I told my mom if she ever got to that point, that she could rely on us (meaning my husband and myself) for help. Doesn't matter how far apart we live, how far apart our beliefs are, how superficial our relationship is. We'll help.

I'm sure my husband wasn't too happy to overhear that (my parents have not been nice to him these 10 years we've been engaged/married). I'm not sure how my mom took it. I don't expect her to come to us in her hour of need ever, but I still felt compelled to offer my companionship and support if she needed it.

Anyway, I think my mom decided that I don't have an opinion about Diane and Bob's suicide. Which isn't accurate, but that's the way my mom works. She just ignores the parts she doesn't like and fills in the blanks with something that makes her happy. We ended the conversation with her asking if we (she and I) are okay with things now. And I said, "Just like we were before, Mom."

Which makes her happy. And me a bit sad. But then, I'm post-partum, so I'm not the most reliable judge of things right now.



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