Friday, March 25, 2005
Michael Schiavo's Load
Many years (far more than I care to admit) ago, my high school drama class put on a dinner theater production of Anne of the Thousand Days. It tells the torrid story of Henry VIII and his short lived wife Anne Boelyn. I say short-lived because Henry VIII wanted to be rid of his wife, divorce was a messy option, so he had Anne beheaded. Evidently that solved his problem.
Toward the end of the play, Henry VIII comes out on stage and delivers a soliloquy I have always remembered. "There is a load every man carries," he says sullenly. He explains that this load is made up of all the sins, transgressions, lies, and misdeeds in a man's life. Some days a man feels the weight of his load. Some days he doesn't. You almost feel sorry for Henry when he says something akin to the following:
"Open the load you carry, Henry. And put in Anne's head!"
Michael Schiavo most likely feels his troubles with Terri are just about at an end. He could not be more wrong. His name will forever be tied to the woman he just got tired of having around. In the end that is what she became. Her death will be marked as the first time someone was legally able to rid themselves of an inconvenient spouse.
How long, dear reader, will it be until the "Right To Die" movement transforms itself into the "Responsibility to Die" movement? Who gets to decide what constitutes a quality of life? We'll start with a woman who may or may not be aware of her circumstances. Where do we end up?
I wonder what Schiavo's live in girlfriend who has born him two children thinks about this. Does she wonder what will happen to her if she encounters circumstances similar to Terri's? I bet she wonders if she'll get kicked to the curb in the same way.
So, Michael Schiavo, open that load you carry around with you...and toss Terri back there. I think you'll be surprised when, expecting the weight to be lighter it turns out to be much more of a load than you bargained for.
Here endeth the lesson.