Well, I guess we are here now

After I get home from work in the evening, Randy and I walk in a cemetery. We park in the same place. We walk the same path.

For years now, we have seen a black truck parked, in the same spot, where a young man works out by his truck. We never spoke to him until Tuesday evening.

About half way through our figure eight walking path, the young man approached us and asked us if we saw an old lady back a ways. We did see her. He told us that he was concerned about her. He talked to her. She seemed overheated and like she was struggling.

We told him that we would circle back and check on her.

She was bent over the grave of a 5 year old girl who died in 1964. I told her that the young man that spoke to her earlier was concerned and I wanted to make sure she was cemetery statueokay. She did look overheated.

She told me that she was taking care of her little sister.

And that she still had to go see her mother, her husband, and her son.

I asked her if she had a car parked nearby and she said she didn’t. She rode the city bus.

She was about as far away as you can get from the cemetery entrance where the bus stop is. It’s a fairly large cemetery and hilly. I asked her if we could give her a lift to the bus stop. She said she would like that, but she still had work to do.

We told her to take her time. We still had a walk to finish and we had nothing pressing to do anyway.

When she finished tending to her graves, we helped her into our car. Randy rode in the back seat.

As we were pulling away, we saw our son Joey walking by. He walks in the cemetery every day as well, but we rarely run into him. He looked at our car a bit confused and waved. We waved back and offered to drive the woman home.

On the drive, she told me about her family and her life. She lived alone. Her husband passed a year ago.

She told me about her children, grandchildren, her son who died, and her daughter who didn’t survive birth.

The drive took less than 15 minutes.

We got to her house and I helped her out of the car. We made sure she got safely inside and made our way home. I told Randy that Joey probably thought we kidnapped an old person.

When we got home, Joey was standing in the kitchen with his arms spread out wide “Are….you guys kidnapping and killing old people?”

I told him that as far as he knew, she got home fine. Which was funny, but later, I thought it would have been funnier to say “I really wish you hadn’t seen that.”

Anyway, I wasn’t going to tell you guys about this because I thought that no matter how I presented it, that it would sound self-congratulatory. Randy begged to differ. He said it was a funny story. He conceded the Joey part was funny. The rest was fairly heartbreaking.

The thing is, I am grateful this happened.

I got a lot from those minutes. For a few minutes, I didn’t feel blinding anger and terror. For a few minutes, I let my thoughts step away from the fact that persons with a working uterus are in peril.

For a few minutes, I stopped thinking about the fact that women will soon have less autonomy than a corpse.

No one can take the organs from a corpse unless the previous occupier of the corpse agrees to that in advance. But women? We’re losing our autonomy.

So many states are planning complete abortion bans.

Women are going to die. It is unfolding now.

I have no doubt we will right this wrong, but I have no idea how long that will take. I didn’t think there was any chance the former guy could have lasted his whole term which happened. Who knows how long we will have to fight this? No matter what, women will die. Or be imprisoned.

I’m not surprised, but suspecting that Roe v. Wade would be overturned didn’t prepare me for the actual event. It’s like when someone you love is slowly dying. You think you are prepared, but you’re never really prepared.

I’m frustrated. I’m terrified when I see pro-choice people on social media saying “Maybe just accept Susan Collins bill where most abortion is legal, just not late term with some medical exceptions.”

That’s already what we have. And no one has to lose any rights.

No late term abortions are being performed on a healthy, viable fetus. That’s not a thing.

Late term abortions are usually traumatic and devastating because parents are losing a child they wanted. Why do we have to take away a person’s autonomy for something that isn’t fucking happening?

We should not compromise.

Not one bit. They do not get to take any rights. We will fight subjugation.

If we compromise, even a little, we’ll lose everything. If we compromise, these psychopaths will exploit that. We cannot compromise.

Also, I suggest that everyone pick up a few pregnancy tests and Plan B. I’m sure most of us know at least someone with a working uterus. They might need them in the near future.

For all that is holy, pay in cash. Don’t let them track you and turn you into a criminal.

If you know of anyone who uses an application to track their menstrual cycles, suggest that they stop immediately. Don’t order sanitary supplies online. Pay in cash when you do buy them.

This is not hyperbole. This is coming to pass.

We have to take care of each other.

If you get a chance to do something nice for someone, I promise you, you will feel better.

At least, for a few minutes.




27 Thoughts.

  1. How far backwards in time are we supposed to go? And why are we the only country with a baby formula shortage? So, you have to have the baby, next will be, you have to breastfeed, and then, you can only breastfeed in your own home. Some of Supreme Court’s mothers should have swallowed.

  2. Several years ago someone was running around my office telling everyone about the horrors of late-stage abortions and how the practice needed to stopped immediately. I wish I’d had the foresight then to say, “Do you realize that by the time a woman gets to that point she’s picked out names and is painting the nursery? Do you think a woman gets to that point and casually changes her mind?”
    I have a lot of hindsight about this, but I’m trying not to focus on that and thinking about the future. Buying pregnancy tests and Plan B is a good idea, and I’m going to pay with my card. Why? Because fuck them. I can’t get pregnant but if I’m going to be treated like a criminal because Tennessee’s governor wants women to die–and we also have a senator who’s proposed a ban on birth control–then let me be a criminal. Maybe if I make myself a target it’ll take some of the heat off women who need help, not judgment.
    I’m glad you met that woman in the cemetery. We all need a little breathing space.

  3. I am glad you shared the cemetery story. It also feels good to read about simple acts of kindness. I’m stunned that abortion is still a topic for serious debate. What century are we in? Why don’t we focus on preventing pregnancy and promote vasectomies?! Don’t be a fool, wrap that tool!

  4. Yeah, you can’t even make broad based condemnations about who is responsible for this latest attempt at turning our country into Gilead (which Margaret Atwood no longer thinks is too far fetched to work as a novel), or I can’t anyway. Yes, the evangelical Christians are the voting bloc being pandered to with these insane laws, but there still exist good people who are Christians (hello William Barber and Jimmy Carter) as we found out Friday night in Raley’s…
    A very earnest looking guy stopped me as I was hobbling down the aisle and asked if he could pray for my leg. I’m an atheist and the problem isn’t my leg, it’s my brain from the stroke, but I told him sure, why not? What could it hurt? Later, he saw me with Briana, who has her arm in a sling and a cast from the car wreck, and asked her if he could pray for her recovery also. We were still chatting with him when we were checking out and he reached over and pulled our debit card out of the machine and told the cashier that he wanted to pay for our groceries, which he did. We are poor, and that $40 made a difference in what we get to eat this week.
    I would recommend looking up local abortion funds and donating if you can, as they are on the ground working against these insane laws and getting pregnant people the resources they need to get to where the care the need is legal and available. Rich women will always get their abortions, and always have for centuries (abortion is not a new thing) but poor women, who in the best of times may not have the resources to travel to a different state can’t be expected to have them when the time bomb starts ticking in their uterus.

  5. The story of the Elderly Lady at the Cemetery was both Sad, Heart rendering for all her Loss and yet humorous in how your Son made some Gallow’s Humor of it. And yes, sometimes it takes something like that to take our Minds off all the fuckery going on…

  6. I’m paying with a card, because I want them to come after me. I’m retired and they don’t scare me compared to the alternative for all young women!

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