Thursday, August 14, 2008

There is a Cure!

One week ago, the future flashed before my eyes.

My mother, a young baby boomer at age 65, slipped and fell and was rushed to the hospital. This was not a vision. It really happened. A robust, energetic woman for her age, (swimming 30 laps every Sunday and giving the gym equipment a workout at least once a week), and with a high threshold for pain, mom was crying in agony. I knew this was serious. She could not move her left arm at all. To walk sent vibrations up her back and shoulder with crushing pain.


REALIZATION #1 My superhero is mortal.



Several hours later at the emergency room, the ER doctor stated she had a fractured scapula--that's the flat part of the shoulder blade.


The good news is that mom will not need surgery as a fractured scapula is similar to the ribs--they heal on their own. The bad news--the pain is excruciating and it takes weeks to heal, leaving my mother handicapped from using her left hand or arm at all. In recalling my days working for a health insurance company, many elderly people die from complications resulting from a fall. Broken hip, pneumonia and then ...

REALIZATION #2 If she had fallen on hard floor instead of carpet, my mother may not be with us today. This is the vision that nightmarishly crossed my mind.

I focused on the positive: She would heal, painfully slow, but she would heal!

When mom was released from the hospital and we returned home, I dragged my weary, nimble, body into a cool, inviting, firm bed. But my mind was racing, alert, thinking. The planner in me started thinking--where to rent a wheelchair for a few days? Would she need a nurse while I was at work? Who to call? How to register for a temporary handicap car tag?

Then like a pounding waterfall that tapers into a stream, my mind relaxed. Everything was going to be OK. Yes I would have to play nurse, cook, caretaker and chauffer. But that was nothing. It could have been worse. No surgery, no medicines (just painkillers), no radical treatments. Just time, patience and lots of rest and TLC. This is her cure.

Feeling relaxed, I turned on my laptop and decided to check emails to distract me. My tranquility slowly turned to bewilderment.

A good samaritan ( a fellow writer, Marte Cliff) helped to write a brochure for a charity to help battered and abused women. In reading and studying the facts, my pressure was rising.


A sobering fact: Ten women everyday are killed as a result of domestic abuse.






These women suffer physical and emotional injuries, repeatedly! It's a vicious cycle. Their injuries are as severe as my mother's--broken or fractured bones--ribs, jaw, cheek bones...

REALIZATION #1 The injuries of these women is no "accident" like my mother's injuries.

To help these women does not require major surgery, no expensive cocktail of medicines that burn the lining of the stomach, no radical treatments or chemotherapy while millions of dollars and generations of years are spent studying, discovering a scientific cure. All these women need is shelter. A refuge for them and their children. How simple is that???

REALIZATION #2 There is a cure!

So what is the problem? I read on... Many shelters do not allow children or even pets. For this reason, many battered and abused women stay at the home, where the abusive spouse may otherwise take out his anger on the child or the dog (sometimes killing the family dog).

The cure is waiting. It's there! We can bring the cure to these women, their children and their family pets. The first site I visited is http://www.batteredmothers.org/ with a litany of facts that opened my eyes. Next, is http://www.freedomranchofmissouri.org/ which is a project of the first site. The Freedom Ranch holds the belief that children need to be with their mothers, away from harm's way. It's more than a haven where abusers can not reach their victims. Mothers are provided clothing, emotional counseling, and access to various resources to assist women reenter society with confidence and a foundation. Often the women and children leave their home with literally the clothes on their back.

Apart from making a donation, I thought, "What else could I do?" Of course! I could spread the word through email and blogging!

During this time of election season, we often hear how Presidential candidates have raised millions of dollars from many giving a little. Low income Americans giving $10, $20, $40 each when they have never contributed before to a presidential campaign. Americans have learned they can make a difference with just a little. Where every dollar counts and every vote counts.

Can we count on you to follow this easy example? You can donate to either fund or project. To make it a little more exciting, the founder is offering a raffle where your donation could award you a prize. Visit http://www.bestcharityraffle.org/

My mother is my rock, my friend, my protector. She has taught me to believe in my capabilities and to never let anyone put me down-physically or figuratively. I can't imagine how my life would have turned out without her guiding me, teaching me, protecting me while growing up.

Alicia and I are quixotic about family, children including pets. This is our first plea to friends, family and now our new "subscribers" to consider making a donation, small or large.

Let's bring the cure to these battered and abused women!

Let battered and abused women reach their freedom!

Thanks to friends, family and neighbors for emails and phone calls with well wishes and prayers for my mother! Your kindness will return tenfold!

1 comments:

Marte said...

Thanks, Christine, for helping bring domestic abuse to everyone's attention. It's a problem we just don't want to talk about, but remaining silent won't help it go away.

The Battered Mother's Resource Fund is doing great things through its nationwide network - so that women across the U.S. can call a toll-free hotline and find a place to go.

It's an entirely volunteer network, and Phillip Baney, the founder, doesn't just contribute hours... he also pours his own funds into helping these mothers and children.

You are so right in saying that every little bit helps - and I hope your readers will believe that their bit - a little or a lot - will be well spent in helping moms and kids escape the cycle of abuse.

So thanks again, and please tell your Mom that she's got a friend in North Idaho who is sending plenty of positive, healing energy her way. Thank goodness you were there to help...

Marte