Hello Dear Nurses,
I have something personal to share with you today. Bear with me. As all of life, this does relate to nursing, particularly Catholic nursing.
January 22nd is quite a special day to me. I got married to my Dear Husband January 22, 1972. At the time, I had two more semesters of college left toward my Bachelor’s in Nursing. On our first wedding anniversary, after recently celebrating my college graduation, Roe v. Wade was set in place by the Supreme Court (some of the members had forgotten who the Supreme Ruler really is). A pall was over our first anniversary, and over every anniversary since. We do compensate. We met at a Valentine’s Party at the college Newman Club, so we celebrate on Valentine’s Day more than our anniversary day, not because of Saint Valentine.
On further reflection, maybe yes to Saint Valentine, since it is because of him that there was a party. My husband is here being busy as usual. He is no couch potato. I never have to ask him to take out the garbage.
Why am I sharing this personal little vignette? Because it is about being Pro-Life. What is Pro-Life? What does it look like? Why is it important? How do we do it? As Catholics, we are supposed to be Pro-Life, but not all people who call themselves Catholic follow pro-life beliefs and practices.
For our Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary, my husband has invited me for a weekend at the coast, that is the far north Pacific coast, a place called Trinidad, California. He knows I rather be at the coast than anywhere. The invitation was quite a surprise, since historically our family members were busy every January 22nd being in Right to Life Marches in San Francisco and/or Washington, D.C.
A few times I had family at both marches at the same time. I wasn’t marching because I was home working at the hospital as charge nurse or as nursing instructor. I broke the mold in Spring 2018 and was in Rome alone for two conferences and for the March for Life there. Cardinal Burke was with us, and Saint Gianna Molla’s daughter also. (If not for being a member of NACN-USA, I would not have been there).
So, Ray and I were married in January with beautiful (and inexpensive after Christmas) poinsettas around the altar of Saint Teresa of Avila Catholic Church in Bodega, California. A daughter was married there also three years ago. It is the church of my childhood.
When pregnant with our fourth child, I was told that I was carrying a Down’s syndrome baby. The diligent public health nurse who called and gave me the shocking news also told me that she had scheduled me to go to the hospital the next morning. Guess for what. I said, “I am not coming.” She said, “You have to come.” I said, “So come and get me” and slammed down the phone. I had told the doctor not to even order that test. God was giving me a child. The child was a gift from God no matter what. I loved the growing baby and would continue to do so.
My son, Guy, named for my Grandfather Guy, did not have Down’s Syndrome. He earned Eagle Scout and has recently come out of six successful years in the Coast Guard. If I had trusted the direction of the nurse, Guy would have been killed before birth. I thank God that I knew better than to submit myself to the powers that be. I followed my Conscience.
The fight to overturn the unjust, immoral ruling called Roe versus Wade continues. My husband and I will not be Marching. (Wait, is there to be a March in Trinidad, California, population 324?) We will be praying though. There is a mission church, Holy Trinity Catholic Church, which has a Saturday evening Mass. Perfect. I love the Holy Trinity, and the church looks a lot like the church of my childhood and marriage built in 1860. Holy Trinity was built in 1873.
My son’s family in Virginia will be housing two or three NACN-USA members during their trip for the March for Life and surrounding activities. As a couple with our family, we will continue to do what we can to promote Life. It is a Joy to be of the same mind in fighting for the good with the Members of NACN-USA. Thanks to you all. Even if not marching, we are Pro-Life by honoring the God and by fulfilling our duties lovingly within our spheres of influence, families, communities, healthcare facilities. Everywhere, let us hold our space for God and for good. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Lean on the arms of Sweet Jesus and stand strong.
Because we love Jesus, who first loved us,
Your President, Ellen Gianoli RN, Wife and Mom