Saturday afternoon, one of my travelling companions and I left the Woodside Hospice for a late lunch break. We drove a few miles away to a restaurant next to our hotel.
Shortly after being seated, I was looking over the menu while my fellow traveller freshened up in the restroom. A waitress happened by and greeted me. She, seeing me in my clerical attire, asked me, “To what do we owe the honor of your visit with us today? Are you here for a wedding or something?” I told her that I’d been at the place where Terri Schiavo is undergoing her ordeal. The waitress cocked her head sideways and said something about not being aware of what all was going on with the case.
She then said, “I don’t know. Don’t you think it’s time just to let her go?” To which I replied, “If it is time to let her go, it’s certainly not time to starve her to death.” The waitress looked at me as if I’d slapped her. She said, “Is that what’s happening?” I said, “Yes, that’s exactly what’s going on.” She asked again and I reaffirmed my statement. She then turned and walked away, going to help a couple that had just come in the door; before she greeted the couple, she turned to me once more and said, “Is that true, Father?” I shook my head in agreement.
This exchange is another indication that the general populace doesn’t realize what is going on in this case. The press is reporting that Terri is on life support. The media, largely, aren’t reporting that she is being starved to death. They aren’t saying that she needs someone to feed her–no different than an infant would.
I’m not sure what the waitress did after we left but I hope she thought seriously about what she had learned. The truth is life-changing.