"Saweet Story!" – In Which My Sister Is Awesome. Go Figure.

So, I was preparing a collection of miscellany for you, which will be out eventually. However, in the midst of my collecting, I was interrupted by an explosion of amazingness which emanated from the direction of my sister Martha. In fact, all of my sisters are quite brilliant, each in their own way. Therefore, this, please note, was not at all unusual.  However, this one was especially EPIC and I made her type it up for me so she could be my very first guest poster! Buckle up, folks – this gal is Big News. I couldn’t resist throwing in a few random comments (in bold italics) when she gets particularly mind-blowingly brilliant, because…it’s my blog and I can do what I want and I don’t want you to risk missing the mind-blowing-ness of her brilliance.

In case you haven’t seen lately, this is her:

I know, right? 
We’re referring to the other lady simply as “Nurse” for her privacy.

P.S. If you don’t know what a medical abbreviation means – don’t ask me. I don’t know all this smarty stuff. I just know she’s brilliant. So, look it up or find Martha.
Anyway. Commence the explosion:
For my mission trip to El Salvador I am required to get as many necessary vaccines as possible (Ex. Hep A. Hep B, Varicella, etc.). But because of our awesome Mom I know that, as a Catholic, I am morally obligated to refuse some of them due to the fact that they contain aborted fetal cells. There are some special circumstances where exceptions are acceptable, but now is not one of them.

So I go into Kelsey Seybold for my foreign travel vaccinations because my PCP doesn’t have some of the required vaccines.

Thinking that I was going to have to argue with the nurse about what vaccines to get I was slightly irritated.
Before my appointment time I was told to bring in any previous vaccination paperwork.

After being called back the following interaction transpired:

I could tell the nurse was having a long day and her attitude… Well, lets just say she was slightly peeved.

So I was trying to be un-irritatingly cheery (Dad does that when people are upset, and 10 out of 10 times he gets ’em to smile.) True Story, y’all.

Nurse – “Where’s your paperwork?”
Me – “I don’t have any.”
Nurse – “Yes, you do. Childhood vaccinations! You have those records. You have to.”
Me – “I was never vaccinated as a child. I’ve only received Meningitis vaccine for school and only my PCP needs that so I didn’t bring it in.”
Nurse – “Oh. You were never vaccinated? Strange.”

Hoping she would ask why I anxiously waited to answer questions because I have A LOT of answers! But… She didn’t.

Nurse – “The front desk didn’t give you anything to fill out?”
Me – “No Ma’am”

Now, she was really peeved… So I was super chill and filled out the paperwork. (No lie, she is super chill.)

She put a few things in the computer and found out I was doing this for missionary work and she loosened up a bit.

So, then we started going over each vaccination and why I needed to receive each one. I refused the first four and she still had not asked why I was refusing them. I was tired of waiting! So I hit her with it:

Me – “I’m Catholic.”
Nurse – “Oh! Me too!”
Me – “Oh, so you know why I’m refusing these?”
Nurse – “No, actually…”
Me – “When I was little my Mom did a lot of research to try and determine the Church teaching on vaccinations. 
She discovered that some of them came from and contain aborted fetal cell tissue. So that’s why I’m refusing some of these.”

Nurse – “No, no they don’t.”
Me – “Actually, they do. The cultures for the vaccine came from two babies. MRC-5 and WI-38. (Y’all, she knew that OFF THE TOP OF HER HEAD.) Many other aborted babies were used for the testing as well.”
Nurse – “Where did she get that information from? How old is that?”
Me – “You can just look it up on the internet. It’s at least 26 yrs old ’cause that’s how old my oldest sister is.”
Nurse – “Wow. I can’t believe that!”
Me – “It’s pretty crazy.”
Nurse – “I’ve been a nurse for 37 yrs and I go to [Mass] every Sunday, and I have never heard that before.”
Me – “Yeah, the Church has a teaching on it, there are some exceptions to the rule but generally these particular vaccines needs to be avoided.”

Feeling proud of myself for giving her this information, God put me back in place when she started telling me this:

Nurse – “Ya know, my mother died from an abortion.”

My heart sank.

Me – “Oh, I’m so sorry.”
Nurse – “And my daughter had an abortion when she was 19 and I regret it to this day.”
Me – “Oh, God… (At this point I was praying)
Nurse – “We were going through alot of stuff at the time, my Dad was really sick and I just didn’t think she could handle it. But that was 10 yrs ago. I still think about it every day.”

At this point I’m trying not to cry. 3 out of 4 people in her family who’ve been involved in an abortion have died: her mom, her sibling, and her grandchild. 75%. Those aren’t good odds.

Me – “Ohhh, I’m so sorry.”
Nurse – “I talk with my husband all the time and He always says ‘God has forgiven us, just move on.’ But I can’t… It just breaks my heart.”
Me – “I can’t imagine, what that’s like. You know, my sister works at the Houston Coalition for Life…
(excuse me, but – DUDE! She’s being totally brilliant and I was in her mind at the same time as all this amazingness! I was way honored when she told me) 
….and they have a bus sitting outside of Planned Parenthood on I-45. And I’ve learned a lot from her working there. (!!!!) And I think because you were going through such a hectic time and the reasons you and your daughter had the abortion you didn’t have time to grieve for the baby. You are grieving now. But one of the beauties of being Catholic is Confession. That is a really important part of the grieving process that you’re experiencing right now. And I also think you should sit down with your daughter and talk about what happened.”
Nurse – “We actually have talked about it and I told her that if she had told me even once that she didn’t want to have the abortion, we wouldn’t have done it. But because she was… well essentially she was raped, I just didn’t think she could deal with that… So we didn’t talk about it then.”
Me – “Well, I think its good that you’ve discussed it. You know there’s a cemetery…”
Nurse – “Yes, the Cemetery for the Unborn. Yes, I go there all the time. I take flowers. So does my daughter. I don’t know how often, but…”
Me – “That’s good, I’m glad you’re doing that, I think it’s so awesome that they have that cemetery there for people to be able to do that. You could also think about naming the baby, too. I think that’s a really great way to sort of have something concrete to hold on to and grasp whenever you’re thinking about it.”
Nurse – “Yeah, yeah, well she’s married now and has two kids. But there’s not a day that goes by when I don’t think about what we could have done differently.”
Me – “Well it sounds like you’re trying! That’s important, so keep trying.”

Then she told me about her two other daughters and her son. (She was “selling” her son, haha!) I got to see pictures of children and grandchildren.

My appointment took 1 1/2 hrs and it should have taken 20-45 minutes.

I got my Typhoid vaccine and she told me to come back from my mission with pictures so she could see them.

And we went our separate ways.

We both started out frustrated and both left emotionally exhausted but smiling. I just think it’s such a crazy story!!
So, there you have it. My Mart being an absolutely brilliant example of what pro-lifers need to be: compassionate, informed, reasonable, gentle, eager to share the truth, all while being humble. 
Also a brilliant example of what Catholics need to be: compassionate, informed, reasonable, gentle, eager to share the truth, all while being humble.
She makes me proud. She also makes me want to try harder to be all of the those things, too.
‘Nuff said.
What you need to be Smart like Mart (provided by Mart, notes by Mart):

2 thoughts on “"Saweet Story!" – In Which My Sister Is Awesome. Go Figure.

  1. Ohhhhhh, this story moistens my eyes and rips my heart. God bless Martha. She was an instrument of the Holy Spirit to that nurse and her family.
    – Anne S.


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