Another is going to Relevant Radio’s Women of the Well breakfast series last Wednesday and hearing Dee Ann Smith's story of her struggle with and recovery from alcoholism.
A third was lunch with a close friend who is gay and really hearing—for the first time really hearing—that he has felt for much of his life that he really is worth less than others. He came to love Down Home Ranch because it affirms that “every life has value.”
So eager was I to attend The Women of the Well event that I showed up at the Diocesan offices a week too soon and 25 minutes too early, and was so informed by the receptionist. Undaunted, I reappeared last Wednesday with a deep sense of anticipation and excitement I didn't really understand.
As I sat at the table waiting for the event to get underway, I thought, I wish I’d brought Kelly!
Every life has value.
I thought about talks I've had with Kelly on occasion about abortion, and the fact that very few babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are allowed to live. A very hard conversation to have, to which Kelly said in her simple, direct way, “I want to tell people to let them live. I have Down syndrome, and I love my life.”
Remembering that, I recalled the meaning of the name Kelly: Warrior Woman, and smiled to myself. Kelly and I had been signed up for the May 8th Walk for Life, but I'd gotten sick in late April wound up in the hospital so we weren't able to go. Kelly is ready to tell people of her love for life, so this was a big disappointment for both of us.
I am not afraid of anything. I was born to do this.
Hearing that was like receiving an electric shock. I actually got the shakes at that point, and it wasn’t from the very strong coffee they had served, either.
Warrior Woman! I was hearing a call to action.
This is about more than a casual walk for a cause. It's a call to use all the gifts God has given me, which very much include my daughter, to reach out to others and tell our story.
* * *
* * *