The death of a love one, change’s your perspective on everything…including life itself.
Three intimate family losses in 22 months has changed me. I am not the same and I believe the change is for the better in many ways.
Let me explain.
The role I have loved the most in life was being a mom. Being a mother brought me my greatest joy and my most difficult sorrows. However, even with the sorrow I would not change the thing I love most being a mother.
Having a child proceed you in death is the most horrific form of pain one can imagine. Perhaps that is why the Justina Pelletier case has grabbed my heart so hard.
No, Justina is not dead.
But, she is a child and a mother is suffering. She has not been able to really hold or have those all important conversations for 15 months. I can’t imagine.
People say to me all the time, “Missy, I can’t imagine what you have gone through.” Well I can’t imagine what Linda Pelletier has gone through for 15 months as a mother. I know my son, Jamie is in heaven and living life to the fullest. But Justina is in Wayside Youth Residential home where kids are shuffled in and out every 2-3 weeks. She is surrounded by strangers, not attending school, not being allowed to attend church and most importantly not being around her family.
Teenagers are in a transition period. They are not children, they are not adults. One day they are playing with Barbie dolls and the next day getting school girl crushes on boys for the first time. I know…I reared two daughters. Transitioning from child to teenager to adult brings about incredible emotional changes. They are changing from the family unit being the source of their identity to the identification with their peers.
Justina comes from a family with 3 other sisters. Sisters are huge role models for teens in the transition period. But, Justina isn’t home to have them as role models. Who are Justina’s role models now? We don’t know, the parent’s don’t know, they can only see her off site.
Justina asked to see her mother on her birthday, they said NO.
I can’t imagine.
Mother’s Day is coming up on May 11th. Last year everyone at Boston Children’s Hospital got to see their mother on Mothers Day, but not Justina Pelletier. Will she this year? I have my doubts.
Here is the big thing. Justina turns 16 on May 24th.
Her 16th birthday!!!!
Do you remember your “Sweet 16”? I do it was a great birthday. My daddy picked me up at lunch time and took me to get my driving license. He picked me up in a brand new, red, Buick Skylark with a white vinyl top. I will never forget that day.
Where will Justina be on her birthday?
When I started this blog I was writing and researching brain death and all I learned about it, when and after they pronounced my son “brain dead”. Then the diagnosis of brain death on Jahi McMath broke and I knew exactly what her mother, Nailah was feeling, and now Justina and again I know how her mom is suffering.
Although they are two totally different situations, they are similar in the principal that parents know what is best for their children. No one loves them more, no one has that innate intuition of what is best and going on with their children.
I always believed that parents had parental rights. That they were given by God and acknowledged in our Constitution, but I am learning they are implied rights. Yes for years those rights were assumed in the Constitution, yet now due to numerous courts cases throughout the U.S. challenging those rights it is critical that we guarantee those rights under a Parental Rights Amendment.
When I graduated from college my degree was in Social Work. Then I married and I became a Pastors wife. For the last 18 years I have been a Ann Arbor Real Estate Broker.
I have enjoyed all the journey, but my heart and my passion now is advocating for those deprived of justice. A voice for the voiceless, to those who can’t speak for themselves and need a community of people speaking out for them.
Since I started actively following and tweeting and following Justina’s story, I have changed. As Justina’s story has grown and unfolded more and more parents stories have come to light of other parents losing their children. Parents whose children have also been taken from the loving arms of good parents. I’m telling you sometimes I just weep when I read them and what those parents have gone or are going through.
I am not saying we don’t need Child Protection Services for neglected, sexually abused children. Not at all. I am saying the system is flawed, very flawed and it needs a complete over hall. Systemic change is hard. Firing a DCF Commissioner is not going to change a thing. Throwing more money at the system is not going to change much, it needs a systemic change with parents rights front and center.
Justina’s story has given a voice to the thousands of other parents who need help in rescuing their children. And yes many of them were also issued a gag order which is a violation of free speech in and of itself.
It has been said, “politics makes strange bedfellows.” In the Pelletier case many people from all walks of political persuasion have come together to fight for Justina go home to her parents. I am not surprised as it is doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know right from wrong.
The Boston Globe asked today, if all this attention would secure a better outcome for Justina or hurt her more? To be honest, I have wondered the same thing from time to time. But, right is right and wrong is wrong and my conscience causes me to do nothing less than speak the truth. All of her advocates feel the same way.
Thanks for reading. Have you been following Justina in the news?
I would love to know your thoughts by leaving a comment below. Click the little chain at the bottom of the post.