Save or be Lost

Save or Be Lost

“My childhood was a period of waiting for the moment when I
could send everyone and everything connected with it to Hell.”
-Igor Stravinsky

I have yet to find a steady pace to my retirement. About the only constant routine to my week are my visits to the three rural clinics that I serve on a part-time basis. The drives are long, and other than the disease burden, which is similar in all places, there is little similarity between the social struggles of my urban and rural patients. A sick cow or a rescued abused horse often take the place of the stress kids cause by being late for band practice. We all live under duress.
Last week I saw a young woman for the first time. She’s in her mid-thirties. Blonde; a bit disheveled; finds it difficult to establish eye contact. Articulate, but her speech does not flow readily from her lips. As if she had some form of neurologic impairment. I get the feeling that had life placed her in a different place, at a different time she’d be very appealing and sure of herself.
“I’m in pain.”
A familiar complaint. She looks no different from any of the people you might meet at the local Hy-Vee store; she bears no visible stigma of her condition. No one can tell that she hurts.
Talk to me. When did it start?
Another long and familiar story. Abandoned by her mother when she was five. Her father did his best to bring up two daughters on his own, but he had significant issues with alcohol and drugs. A very early pregnancy from a boyfriend who disappeared. A subsequent marriage (and pregnancy) with an abusive man. Just delivered her third child; just got out of jail on methamphetamine charges; just asked her drug-dealing (second) husband to move out. She has nothing. She survives on SSI income.
I asked her why she doesn’t work.
“I have dyslexia. They did not treat me for it as a child. I’ve tried vocational rehab, but it just didn’t work. I can’t hold a job.”
The words drip slowly from her mouth, as thick honey drips out of a jar. She’s trying very hard to communicate, but I can see that she’s concerned that I may be missing something.
“The pain medicine doesn’t always work.”
She’s breast feeding. I tell her that she cannot take pain medicine and breast feed.
“I know. When I take the pill I don’t breast feed.”
I ask who’s taking care of the baby while she’s in the office.
“My husband came to watch him.”
The same one who deals drugs?
I get a sheepish nod.
This is where I want to leave the room, go to an isolated field a mile away, and bang my head raw against a huge boulder. This is the part when I feel so much pain that I wish that I could cry for the next hundred hours.
She asked for more pain pills.
No; they will not help you. I need to run some tests. I may be able to come up with a treatment that lessens the pain. You must promise never to touch the pain pills again.
Blood tests and X Rays are ordered. She leaves without the prescription that she came to get.
Chances are 50-50 that her husband drove her to see me. With a hungry child in the back seat. If indeed he’s out there, chances are excellent that he’ll beat her when he finds out that I didn’t give her a prescription. Close to 100% chance that she has no one else to drive her, or care for her child when she needs a break. That many men and countless employers have been abusive to her. That her legal troubles were the result of her taking the blame for something that someone else did.
She’s thirty-five with the mind and demeanor of a six-year old. Any of my granddaughters could handle her life situation much more capably than she has.
In the meantime, our government continues to feel that there is benefit to putting someone like her in jail. At a cost much higher than what it would take to give her exquisite professional treatment and rehabilitation. There are probably loaded guns in this household. Our government vigorously defends their presence and promotes the notion that more guns should be placed there.
She’s smart. She would do the right thing if she only knew how. She’s cute. Early intervention would have saved this soul. Made her a successful and likable being. Now it’s too late.
Regardless of what your religious affiliation is, or lack of it: forget about going to services this week. Stop feeling good about the money you gave for missions and displaced refugees. Ignore the calming feeling that you experience when you sing a hymn or pray.
Because we’re all going straight to Hell. Read any of the holy books: it’s clear that we have failed.
We have allowed the wealthiest country in the history of Mankind to let this story happen. Tens of thousands of times, every day, in every state.
We have given our politicians permission to blur our vision with fearful stories of lazy poor people and bloodthirsty extremists. We can no longer see that a huge percentage of our children are being raised with no comfort; no morals; no love.
It’s no consolation to me that the Clintons and Mr. Trump will be first in line to be consumed by the fires of Hades (A secret: there is no fire in Hell; just the absence of love). All of us belong there, because we obediently followed them into the camps of Left and Right, and we forgot what the real problem was. It doesn’t matter that we tried to help: we were stupid and we should be damned.
I would love to see millions of people descend on all of our Capitol buildings while they are in session. I would like it if someone turned off the water, and the air conditioning, and blocked the toilets. Legislators to be captive until they come up with an answer; any answer, to make sure that all of our children will grow up with love, books, and concern for their fellow beings.
It may be the only way that we can be saved.

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This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. lolaroig2013

    Terrible. The political class acts as the aristocrats and royals. They seem to forget the constituents. To me it is a mistery who is saved and who is condemed. if s
    wecould reach the media as politicisns do perhaps we could send a message that revolutionizes the way we live in a very deffective Society. Save yourself…! So many people Love you. Once you gave me Lifesavers advice.

  2. nmedearis

    Can you imagine if we took the obscene amount of money wasted on political campaigns alone and invested that in children? The “dividends” alone would likely surpass the huge amount of finances needed to remedy the current crisis. We don’t want to spend the money now because we say that we don’t have it, however, this will cost us more in the long-term. Isn’t prevention better than a cure?
    I am saddened by the reality of this post but glad that you wrote it. I can imagine it as a book…Hell on Earth and I love your solution save for the fact they would waste their government money by throwing us in jail for such a Legislative solution!

    1. Francisco Garriga

      Thanks; I reached my limit and I could see no way out.

  3. Lois Allen

    I am grieved to hear your pain. While I often feel the same frustration over the heartless and greedy political state I do not look to them for answers. The government is not God. That is the root of what is most wrong with this country. When we look to the idol that government has become why are we surprised when it cannot do what only God can do. Only He can change hearts and minds. He is still intimately concerned with His creation and is in control of it. He allows us the freedom to rebel and disobey and then have to live with the consequences. We can see it individually as well as globally.
    Jesus has already overcome death. He only calls us to believe. I believe the most poignant prayer in scripture was from the man who begged “help my unbelief!” When we turn our eyes to the author and finisher of our faith we see a different picture. If all you can see is Hell and it’s hopelessness then you are looking in the wrong direction. Satan is the father if lies. If he can keep you believing any one of them he can keep you off balance and unable to stand. God is not one size fits all. He accommodates Himself to the personal needs of each of us…we only have to ask.

    I will not be offended if you choose to not post this.

    1. franciscogarrigamd

      I do not have a problem with faith as a tool to help us. I am the most positive “fix it” person that I know. But in practical terms, we do need leaders; we need people to collect taxes, and protect us from terrorists, and build highways and rapid transit when needed. And I’d be very reluctant to hand over that kind of power to anyone who says that their faith uniquely qualifies them for this job. Witness all of the atrocities the Catholic bishops perpetuated under the Inquisition. Yes, it would be nice if everyone believed, and acted accordingly. So far our track record to accomplish this feat is dismal.

      1. Lois Allen

        I am in total agreement that we need leaders and everything else you listed. I don’t trust anyone who claims to be what we all NEED whether they are religious or otherwise. Unfortunately, few people vote need as much as want. It’s all about what the administration promises, whether they can keep the promises or not.
        My concern was your state of mind that (maybe extravagantly) expresses itself with the desire to bash your head on a rock until it’s bloody. That bothers me. I also deal with people in the same circumstances you abhor. The girls I deal with are long term and call me Mom. Not biological but from relationship of love. It is a terrible thing to see their frequent hopelessness. I also feel angry and frustrated when I can’t do more. But if there is one thing I’ve learned it’s that when I ask God for help He gives it. I don’t request what they may want but what they need. It isn’t always what we would think it is. Everyone makes choices. Sometimes it’s from a situation we can’t even comprehend but each person is held accountable for his or her own choices. i know too many enablers and feel strongly about personal accountability. That doesn’t preclude making an effort to walk in another person’s shoes. Compassion is what God gives me for them. We also have to accept with humility that He can do a better job than we can, even when we can’t see how. Faith is all about trusting what we cannot see or touch. If we could always solve our own problems we would have no need of faith. Faith is not just a tool. It is a way of living.
        Keep writing. I always enjoy hearing what you have to say.

  4. Cordell Webb

    This is nothing new. I grew up 75 years ago in south central Missouri (the Ozarks) it was a way of live back then and it still is today in much of the area. It is handed down from generation to generation. It is a merry-go-round and many don’t know how or don’t want to get off. I don’t know the answer. Smarter people than me have tried to figure it out.

  5. Betty Townsend

    How is it that we, the people, can see some of the corrections but our political leaders only know how to throw money at it and expect results. They are able to then throw up their hand and say “Oh, well “they” didn’t do their part.” I agree that the money spent on these political ads are a disgrace and that the time spent on the garbage that come across is a total waste of time. There needs to be a time and dollar amount set for every candidate. The war on drugs has failed. Why?? Too many important people involved? I feel that our government has become completely corrupted. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
    Thanks for the soap box. Betty