Saturday, November 21, 2015

Displaced: The Will to Live

Displaced (M.A. Reilly, 2014)

And I dreamed I was flyingAnd high above my eyes could clearly seeThe Statue of LibertySailing away to seaAnd I dreamed I was flying
                              - Paul Simon 


Watching my husband these last 3 months has taught me a thing or two about fighting for your life. As many of you know, Rob was diagnosed towards the end of August with Stage 4 lung cancer. He just spent the last two weeks in the hospital after having surgery to clean an abscess from his chest caused by a staph infection. He's spent nearly 30 out of the last 90 days in the hospital. Throughout this he has remained grateful for the quality and consistency of care he has received from doctors and nurses, family and friends.  Alongside this horrific illness there have been countless lessons about love--gestures so sweet they bring tears. And it is love that most fuels my husband's commitment to do what must be done in order to live.

Love fuels. Fear debilitates.


I think about Rob's drive for life in light of the horrible decisions that politicians, like the one from the state where I live, are making. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is being ridiculed for his callous and frankly irrational comment that the United States should not accept refugee orphans from Syria younger than five years old because they have no family here.  Christie asks, "How are we going to care for these folks?"


He adds he distrusts the current administration to vet the refugees and claims that the safety of you and me would be in jeopardy if Syrian refugees were admitted to the United States, even those who are orphaned babies.

Fear debilitates. Love fuels.


Surely the governor has lost his way. For is there no one as innocent as an orphaned baby? Is the face of the orphan now the face to fear?  Our safety is not in jeopardy by refugees--be they 3 or 33. The good people from Syria are doing what we all would do--what I see my husband doing--fighting to live.  We must respect that and help, not turn away people who are in such need.

The knee-jerk reaction of Republicans, like Christie, shames us all. and requires us to act--to send our elected politicians that turning away Syrian refugees is immoral, wrong.

Love fuels. Fear debilitates.


  1. There is an article circulating online that reports a 1938 Harvard Crimson poll finding that 68% of US undergraduates did not think we should take in large numbers of Eastern European Jews who were at our shores trying to escape the Third Reich. Today there are monuments to memorialize Holocaust victims all over the country. They wanted to live. We turned them away. No doubt in the future we will feel national regret about the deaths of Syrian refugees today, and create more museums and monuments, unless the cold-hearted people who would turn them away change their minds.

    1. Yes and our children's children will take their children to see these monuments and visit the museums and for some fear will still override reason when the next group situated as other shows need. Perhaps our children's children will lean more in love, less on fear.