I Have A Say Thanks to My Mom and Dad!!!

Being the oldest of 11, I am so thankful, especially now, for my Mom and Dad saying "yes" to life! Growing up, we never had a ton of money. My Dad was a high school chemistry teacher and my parents decided from the beginning that they wanted to have one of them home with us. My mom gave up her teaching career, and raised me, followed by 10 others! My Mom also taught all 11 of us at home for part of our childhood before we would head off to Nativity Catholic Grade School. My Dad worked long hours, eventually earning other degrees so that he could first become dean, then principal, and finally, when I was a sophomore, he was named Roncalli High School's first president. My Dad and Mom both sacrificed SO MUCH for us.

I remember, even as a young person, getting stared at by people, and I remember the comments they would make. I can still hear a dental receptionist asking my Mom "Are these all yours? You know how children are made right?" followed by a real insidious but ditzy chuckle, followed by a secretarial gum crackle. My Mom and Dad were always tight budget wise, and I'm sure at times ached with a desire to not have to take bags of clothes from other families so that we could have clothes. I'm sure my Mom and Dad had desires to simply go to Nordstrom and buy us and give us all our own new clothes and Gameboys and Reebok Pumps etc. I'm sure they at times really wished they could just get a new car and not have to drive a fifteen passenger van around. I'm sure at times they wanted really badly to just go to a restaurant and sit back and enjoy a big expensive meal instead of having to cut coupons and craft together economic meals on the stove.

But they chose life for us, and they chose sacrifice for themselves.

I often think about that ditzy secretary now when our family gets together almost every weekend for dinner to laugh and hang out. Some of the siblings might be out of town or busy with other obligations, but inevitably, all weekend long, every weekend, our family gets together. Sometimes, when we're out at a restaraunt, I see the couples who are alone with each other. They hardly talk to each other and the loneliness is palpable. A part of me feels bad that we're having so much fun with our 8 tables shoved together, telling stories, laughing good hearty and healthy laughs. Sometimes I wonder if one of the couples sitting in the restaurant quietly and solemnly is that dental secretary - who now has piles of money and can eat wherever she wants, but doesn't have hardly anyone to share it with. My heart breaks for the people who are alone, especially the ones who are alone because, when they could have been having children, they instead bought into the contraception lie and lived for themselves only.

I have a say today, and so do my ten younger brothers and sisters, because my parents chose life. Mom and Dad - thanks a million!!!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Laura Zetzl - IU Med School Sophomore

I have a say, thanks to my parents’ choice of life, and it is something that I have often taken for granted.  I have been immeasurably blessed, and I have so many opportunities, because of their respect for God’s plan in bringing children into the world.  As a young woman who is trying to discern where God is leading me and how to best serve him and others throughout my life, I realized that although I do not yet know the answer to the long-term questions, I do know what I am called to do right now.  I am called to live as a witness to the beauty of life, and the happiness that comes from living in accordance with God’s will.  I have a say, and it’s about time that I use it. 
             It is amazing to me, and incredibly disheartening, that society is encouraging women to “have their say” by taking away the say of others, especially their own children.  The ability to bring children into the world is so intrinsic to the female experience, and yet our culture tells us that this is a burden to rid ourselves of, or at least to put off until it is more convenient for us.  How incredibly self-serving is that?  We have this amazing gift, with the potential to bring us so much happiness, in our sexuality.  But we are encouraged to give it away in little, seemingly insignificant pieces until we decide we want to get married or have children.  By the time that happens, how much of us is lost?  And how cheapened is the gift when it is finally given in God’s intended context? 
            I have a say, and I say enough!  Enough of allowing myself to be discouraged by this culture of death.  I embrace LIFE instead.  I will not settle for this watered-down version of my femininity.  Rather, I will stand as an example of the joy that comes from respecting my sexuality enough to reject the pressures of society and saving it for use only as God intended.  As I said, I am young, and this may make me unpopular among my peers.  But I would much rather be unpopular than unhappy, and there is a huge difference between the two. 
            I thank God for giving me my say, and I thank my parents for letting me keep it.  It is because of you that I have the chance to use it today to affirm the great beauty of life!

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