Thursday, February 9, 2017

Fighting for Those Who Can't Fight for Themselves

I awoke to six inches of snow in lovely Owego NY.  This little historic, charming village is even more beautiful in the snow, but it sure messes up my plans for the day. Mom is in a rehab facility where I have voiced multiple concerns. Since I am her advocate, I will speak up, despite knowing that the staff cringes when they see me coming. She is weak, traumatized, and hates to rock the boat -- a gentle woman who would just as soon suffer than make others do their job.

Not me. I am here for at least a month with the goal of transforming elderly care in this community. I have observed so many aides and workers walk in to my mom's room scowling, annoyed, and treating her as though she were a sack of potatoes rather than a lovely, sweet woman who deserves the dignity and respect every human being deserves.

So I am vocal. At one point, walking down the hall with my dad, I lamented how frequently we have voiced the same concerns to no avail. "I just don't think they are going to listen."

A cleaning woman overheard me. No doubt, she knows what goes on behind the scenes that many of the residents' families don't know.
"Yes they will," she told me, "You are your mom's advocate. Keep complaining until you find the right people to complain to. They WILL listen."

Buoyed by this vote of confidence, I did just that. I know the rehab center staff cannot stand the sight of me. I am a bulldog and will not let up. I have been up and down the hall to the nurses' station dozens of trips each day. Hate me...but don't hate my mom who cannot defend herself.

Yesterday, many of our concerns were clearly being addressed. Today I have a meeting with all the department heads so that a cohesive plan for my mom will be put in place. I intend to intercede not only for my mom, but for all the residents who don't have family with them to be their advocate. I am thrilled this is happening...except there is all this snow and a half hour drive between the facility and me.
As I wait for the snow to be cleared, I consider how similar this fight for my mom's care and safety mirrors the work I do as a sidewalk counselor at one of the busiest abortion centers in the Southeast. I speak up, along with the other members of our Cities4Life team for the rights of the unborn. We plead with the babies' parents that they would have mercy on their child. I read today of one of my fellow counselors who called out to a dad walking the mom in to the center where they would kill their child. Finally the counselor shouted, "Come beat me up. Hurt me instead of your baby!"

This is the cry of Jesus.

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

In the end, my friend was surprised and delighted to see the young couple leave the abortion center. They stopped to tell him they did not abort.

Mom's aide came in smiling yesterday, saying, "Hello Sunshine!"  Her dour and clearly bored therapist was replaced with a compassionate and excellent one who encouraged my mom, and gave her enough assistance that Mom thought maybe she could do this.
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 Proverbs 31:8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.

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My new book which parallels my skirmish with breast cancer with my work as a pro-life counselor on the sidewalks of the abortion center is out now in both print and ebook format. To purchase, click HERE.

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