Friday, January 29, 2010

Justice for Dr. Tiller

Scott Roeder was convicted today of the murder of Dr. George Tiller.

I'm not really in a celebratory mood; I'm glad that the jury delivered justice for Dr. Tiller's family, but a doctor, father, husband, and friend is still dead. Those who work for abortion providers are still at risk every time they go to work...or sometimes even when they think they're safe at home. I'll echo the sentiments in Planned Parenthood's tweet after the verdict was delivered: "We strive for the day when women can enter clinics without fear of harassment and doctors can provide care without threat of violence."

On this day, I hope for the safety and peace of Dr. Tiller's family and of reproductive health care providers around the country. And on this day, I remain committed to ensuring that women have safe access to this necessary legal procedure, and sexual and reproductive health care in general.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

remembering Ariel, less-than-profound thoughts on loss, and thankfulness journals

This is the service they held for Ariel Grace Lawson, on Monday, January 11th, at her alma mater (my sorta-alma-mater, though I transferred out after they went coed in 2004), Wells College. I couldn't afford to travel back for the service, but Wells videotaped it and posted it online. It's here:

kim, her partner, was one of my first friends at wells, and one of the closest. i've talked to her a few times since ariel died, and she's doing mostly ok, but i never know what to say, other than "i love you," which seems so incredibly inadequate. what do you say to someone who just lost the love of their life? when that love of her life was only 23 fucking years old?
death is hard enough when it's someone old, a grandma or a parent who's at that age where, well, people die. but there's something so much more fucked up about it when it's a 23-year-old girl.
like i said. these are not exactly profound thoughts on loss. but there they are.

as i cried my way through watching the service on that video, one of the things from that video inspired me. kim, ariel's sister, and a couple of ariel's friends read from ariel's Thankful Journal. every night, ariel would write in this journal a few of the things she was thankful for. one day, she wrote "i am thankful for flowers, love, and Mylanta." little things or big things or serious things or silly things. the point was to remember all the things you have to be grateful for. she and kim would do their thankful-fors every night when they went to bed. kim told me it was one of her favorite things that she and ari had done together, that it really kept her grounded.
i started a thankful journal. i'm writing in it every night. just a few things, serious and not, big and little, every day. this was my entry the other day:
I am thankful for: weather above -17ºF, wells sisterhood (which is insanely strong), deep breaths, and facebook.

it's such a simple idea, but committing to writing in it every night, really being mindful of all of the good things that are there, all mixed in with the not so good a pretty powerful thing.

thank you, ariel, for that inspiration.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

profound post-mortem thoughts

or, at least, that's what I feel like I should have for this blog today.

a beautiful, dear friend of mine died on saturday, january 9th. i still don't know all of the "how" or "why," but Ariel was in a bad car accident late Friday night. she was on life support through saturday, when her partner and her family decided to let her go.
Ariel was 23.

i feel like these things should elicit some profound realizations about life, its brevity and fragility, about love, about the importance of staying in touch, about the importance of expressing that love.

and it did, kind of.
before I became a Smithie, I spent 2 years at Wells College, in Aurora NY. Wells women are easily some of the most amazing women I know. the way that we've all come together over the past couple days is incredible, and speaks volumes of the bond that sisterhood can create. i've told more people how much I love them over the past couple days than I have over the past year. and i'm so thankful for the people i have in my life, for the Wells women I still have, for the family and friends that i love so much.

maybe that's all of the profound wisdom that can come of something so senseless. maybe that's it.

she was only 23.
i miss you, ariellie.