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!!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Anita Thomer - "The Real Rebel"

I was an 80’s kid. A Doc Martens, Cold War, lots of eyeliner, “Tear down this wall!", New Wave, question authority, Vaclav Havel, trench coats, punk
rock kind of girl. Yeah, I’m Generation X. One of the survivors. And I have a say.

Mine was always the smallest class, youth group, choir, debate team, chess club, etc. in decades. No matter where I went I was either the youngest person there or the oldest. I searched for years for my generation. Where did they go? Oh. That’s right. They were contracepted or, failing that, killed before they could be born.

The few of us left fancied ourselves to be rebels. We just weren’t sure what we needed to be rebelling against.

You know what used to drive me crazy? The fact that all the ‘rebels’ wore the same leather jackets and listened to the same records. Me? I went to Mass on Sunday. My parents were the real rebels.

Over the last couple decades I have seen every subversive current - every subculture - bubble up to the surface to be repackaged, sterilized, and mainstreamed. They have all been effectively neutralized. All, that is, except one: The Catholic Church.

I have done the college thing. I have done the activism thing. I have done the career thing. I am not sheltered. I am not oppressed. I am no shrinking violet. I will not be sterilized. I will not be silenced. I am fully human. I am a wife and a mother. I am a woman. I am Catholic. I am a soldier of Christ in the Church Militant and I am a force to be reckoned with.

I’m still wearing my Doc Martens. I’m on my feet a lot taking care of our five kids (so far) and teaching them… at home. Take note, culture of death: I will share the truth with them. I will share the truth with every soul I encounter. I will be heard. I will continue to embrace life with both earth-shaking intensity and infectious joy. I will continue to shatter your illusions with the reality of my living example. I will counter your empty promises every time I hold my husband’s hand. And when the weary people approach - as they so often do - and say, “You two seem so happy together. What is your secret?” I will tell them.

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