By Putting God Back in America
and By Putting Millions of People to Work
Copyright 2012 by Darrell Stoddard This is my platform to run (symbolically) for President, for the Senate, and for the House of Representatives, as both a Republican and a Democrat. Please help me. I need your support to Put God Back in the United States, save the unborn, the economy, and the Constitution.
We must do four things to save the country we love:
1. Putting God Back in the United States
Supreme Court decisions, beginning in 1947, to enforce Separation of Church and State (a phrase that is NOT EVEN IN THE CONSTITUTION) have taken God out of the United States and have violated our inalienable Constitutional rights – the right of Free Speech and the right to the Free Exercise of Religion.
The First Amendment of the Constitution reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of Religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" Judgments by our courts prohibiting religious expression is prohibiting the free exercise of religion that is the second part of the First Amendment.
I will support legislation and/or an amendment to put God back into our history books, the Ten Commandments back into our public places, Christian crosses back on the sides of highways to honor patrolmen who were killed, and voluntary prayer back into our public schools. To do so is not the establishment of religion; it is our guaranteed right to Freedom of Religion! (See "Separation of Church and State " Opinions of Justice Clarence Thomas and William Rehnquist" Footnote No. 1)
A federal judge in Texas said he would put a school superintendent in prison if they even mentioned the word God, prayer, or worship in any school or in any school activity. The judge should be removed from the bench for using a doctrine that is not in the Constitution to deny “free exercise of religion” that is in the Constitution.
WHEN THE COURTS PROHIBIT THE RECOGNITION OF GOD IN HISTORY BOOKS, THE 10 COMMANDMENTS IN PUBLIC PLACES, AND VOLUNTARY PRAYER IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS, IT WILL NOT MATTER IF WE ELECT DEMOCRATS OR REPUBLICANS!
2. Saving the Constitution
The Constitution is hanging by a thread because of Elitism and Priestcraft – Politicians who “set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world.”
The founding fathers knew that a government by only the elite rich (who could afford to serve in government without pay) was wrong. So the poor and the working class would be represented, salaries were paid for men/women to serve in government. The salaries and benefits for Congressmen have now become so lucrative that we again have a government controlled almost totally by the rich.
More than 250 (of 350) members of congress are multi-millionaires.
The top 12 are worth from 78 to 700 million dollars each. To eliminate Priestcraft in government, all of these should agree to serve without pay. If multi-millionaire congressmen will not serve without pay, we will know why they are there. Most of them should be voted out of office.
In Utah, Orrin Hatch and Chris Cannon are multi-millionaires.
To determine if your Congressmen are multi-millionaires, type their name in the Google search bar and then the words "net worth." It is public information that is available on the internet regarding every congressman.
Presidents that are multi-millionaires should also serve without pay. Herbert Hoover gave all of his salary to charity and John F. Kennedy did not accept a salary for being president. Mitt Romney served as Governor of Massachusetts without pay, and he served as a bishop, as a stake president, and as a missionary for his church without pay. I believe he would also serve as president of United States without pay.
3. Create Jobs for the Millions of People Who are Out of Work
Making Taxation Voluntary
To Save the Country We Love
By Darrell Stoddard, Email:[email protected]
The following plan will create millions of jobs for the unemployed. Everyone will pay their fair share of federal taxes (including the 47% that now pay no federal income tax) with a break for the poor and the unemployed. The rich will pay more taxes without being forced to pay more and anyone can pay no taxes if they choose to do so.
The plan: Abolish the IRS and replace the entire federal tax system with a national sales tax of 10% - 18% on all consumer goods (except for food, soap, toilet paper, diapers, medications, and used/donated goods sold in thrift stores). Anyone could choose to pay no Federal tax by not buying any of the following consumer goods.
Soda pop, candy, cosmetics, jewelry, electronics, clothes, cigarettes, beer, liquor, and legalized marijuana would be taxed. The sales tax would also be imposed on all new and used, cars, boats, SUV’s, pickup trucks, motorcycles, boats, airplanes and houses sold for the end use of the consumer.
Income from investments, rental property, apartments, farms, stores, a factory, or a business would not be taxed. Income from an inheritance or from capital gains would also not be taxed. Those who receive income from any of the above sources, however, will pay taxes if they buy consumer goods that will be taxed at the 10% - 18% rate.
General Electric and all corporations that do not pay taxes will pay taxes indirectly because their employees will buy goods and pay the 10% - 18% consumer sales tax.
If rich men reinvest all of their profits and hire more and more workers (at wages agreeable to both) to make more and more money, then both rich and poor benefit. Rich people who want to get richer by not paying taxes could save our economy by making jobs for the unemployed who would increase the tax base by paying taxes instead of receiving food stamps or welfare.
Voluntary taxation and no federal income tax will bring back jobs from overseas. It will bless both rich and poor and lead to full employment. Such an unprecedented stimulus to the economy will be a godsend to save the country we love.
4. Save Both the Unborn and Women with Unwanted Pregnancies
All human life is sacred, the life of one who is seeking an abortion and the life of the unborn fetus. We should prevent unwanted pregnancies and also save the unborn, by teaching our children from birth this sublime truth: that every mortal being from conception is a child of the living God, created to become and grow into His very image and likeness.
We should pray for, care for, understand, and forgive women who have had abortions (“Father forgive them for they know not what they do”), and if possible save babies before abortion as a priceless gift for women who want desperately to have a child. Giving the gift of life is next to dying to save the life of another! Saving the unborn also saves women from the deep, emotional wounds that all women experience after they have had an abortion.
The legal destruction before their birth of more than 4000 babies each day in the United States (10 a day in Utah) is as many innocent human beings put to death every day as the total number of U.S. soldiers killed in the Iraq war!
Will God bless our nation when we destroy so many of His children before they are born? Changing abortion law by repealing Roe vs Wade will probably make no difference if we do not change peoples hearts.
YOU are a child of God, who loves you. All babies are a precious gift from God (for someone). Please don't destroy the gift.
See article number 21, ‘Silent Holocaust' and 'What you should know about Abortion and Roe vs Wade' at www.healpain.net.
See also footnote: ‘The Eternal Consequences of Abortion’ at the end of this document - with the unforgettable must read story of EMILY! Every young person in America should have the story of Emily read to them soon after they begin dating.
BOOKMARK AND SAVE THIS WEB SITE ! These are correct principles by which men can govern themselves. It is presented to put recognition of God back in America, to restore voluntary prayer in schools, to put millions of people to work, and to save the unborn and women with unwanted pregnancies. You can help by sending this to everyone on your mailing list. ”It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness.”
To Save Mankind from Destuction
(What Jefferson would do)
“From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli”
What Thomas Jefferson learned from the Muslim book of jihad
U.S. Veteran Dispatch January 2007
Democrat Keith Ellison is now officially the first Muslim United States congressman. True to his pledge, he placed his hand on the Quran, the Muslim book of jihad and pledged his allegiance to the United States during his ceremonial swearing-in.
Capitol Hill staff said Ellison's swearing-in photo opportunity drew more media than they had ever seen in the history of the U.S. House. Ellison represents the 5th Congressional District of Minnesota. The Quran Ellison used was no ordinary book. It once belonged to Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States and one of America's founding fathers.
Ellison borrowed it from the Rare Book Section of the Library of Congress. It was one of the 6,500 Jefferson books archived in the library.
Ellison, who was born in Detroit and converted to Islam while in college, said he chose to use Jefferson's Quran because it showed that "a visionary like Jefferson" believed that wisdom could be gleaned from many sources.
There is no doubt Ellison was right about Jefferson believing wisdom could be "gleaned" from the Muslim Quran. At the time Jefferson owned the book, he needed to know everything possible about Muslims because he was about to advocate war against the Islamic "Barbary" states of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Tripoli.
Ellison's use of Jefferson's Quran as a prop illuminates a subject once well-known in the history of the United States, but, which today, is mostly forgotten - the Muslim pirate slavers who over many centuries enslaved millions of Africans and tens of thousands of Christian Europeans and Americans in the Islamic "Barbary" states.
Over the course of 10 centuries, Muslim pirates cruised the African and Mediterranean coastline, pillaging villages and seizing slaves.
The taking of slaves in pre-dawn raids on unsuspecting coastal villages had a high casualty rate. It was typical of Muslim raiders to kill off as many of the "non-Muslim" older men and women as possible so the preferred "booty" of only young women and children could be collected.
Young non-Muslim women were targeted because of their value as concubines in Islamic markets. Islamic law provides for the sexual interests of Muslim men by allowing them to take as many as four wives at one time and to have as many concubines as their fortunes allow.
Boys, as young as 9 or 10 years old, were often mutilated to create eunuchs who would bring higher prices in the slave markets of the Middle East. Muslim slave traders created "eunuch stations" along major African slave routes so the necessary surgery could be performed. Only a small number of the boys subjected to the mutilation survived after the surgery.
When American colonists rebelled against British rule in 1776, American merchant ships lost Royal Navy protection. With no American Navy for protection, American ships were attacked and their Christian crews enslaved by Muslim pirates operating under the control of the "Dey of Algiers"---an Islamist warlord ruling Algeria.
Because American commerce in the Mediterranean was being destroyed by the pirates, the Continental Congress agreed in 1784 to negotiate treaties with the four Barbary States. Congress appointed a special commission consisting of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin, to oversee the negotiations.
Lacking the ability to protect its merchant ships in the Mediterranean, the new America government tried to appease the Muslim slavers by agreeing to pay tribute and ransoms in order to retrieve seized American ships and buy the freedom of enslaved sailors.
Adams argued in favor of paying tribute as the cheapest way to get American commerce in the Mediterranean moving again. Jefferson was opposed. He believed there would be no end to the demands for tribute and wanted matters settled "through the medium of war." He proposed a league of trading nations to force an end to Muslim piracy.
In 1786, Jefferson, then the American ambassador to France, and Adams, then the American ambassador to Britain, met in London with Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, the "Dey of Algiers" ambassador to Britain.
The Americans wanted to negotiate a peace treaty based on Congress' vote to appease. During the meeting Jefferson and Adams asked the Dey's ambassador why Muslims held so much hostility towards America, a nation with which they had no previous contacts.
In a later meeting with the American Congress, the two future presidents reported that Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja had answered that Islam "was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Quran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman (Muslim) who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise."
For the following 15 years, the American government paid the Muslims millions of dollars for the safe passage of American ships or (and?) the return of American hostages. The payments in ransom and tribute amounted to 20 percent of United States government annual revenues in 1800.
Not long after Jefferson's inauguration as president in 1801, he dispatched a group of frigates to defend American interests in the Mediterranean, and informed Congress.
Declaring that America was going to spend "millions for defense but not one cent for tribute," Jefferson pressed the issue by deploying American Marines and many of America's best warships to the Muslim Barbary Coast.
The USS Constitution, USS Constellation, USS Philadelphia, USS Chesapeake, USS Argus, USS Syren and USS Intrepid all saw action.
In 1805, American Marines marched across the desert from Egypt into Tripolitania, forcing the surrender of Tripoli and the freeing of all American slaves.
During the Jefferson administration, the Muslim Barbary States, crumbling as a result of intense American naval bombardment and on shore raids by Marines, finally officially agreed to abandon slavery and piracy.
Jefferson's victory over the Muslims lives on today in the Marine Hymn, with the line, "From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli, We fight our country's battles in the air, on land and sea." It wasn't until 1815 that the problem was fully settled by the total defeat of all the Muslim slave trading pirates.
Jefferson had been right. The "medium of war" was the only way to put an end to the Muslim problem. Mr. Ellison was right about Jefferson. He was a "visionary" wise enough to read and learn about the enemy from their own Muslim book of jihad.
Confirming the above: My brother sent this history lesson to a friend, David Bly, in Minnesota. This was his response: “Yes. I know Keith Ellison very well. I also know very well the curator of the rare books section of the library of congress who provided Rep. Ellison with the use of Jefferson's copy of the Quran.
Keith is a very peaceful and likeable progressive who is co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus. I would consider him a friend. A good Minnesotan and American who happens to be a member of the Muslim faith. By no means an advocate of Jihadists.
Mark Dimunation is the curator of rare books at the US Library of congress. He is of Ukrainian descent, a great scholar who I attended St. Olaf College with and Oxford University.” – David Bly
For a full treatment of this history, see:Jefferson Versus the Muslim Pirates by Christopher Hitchens and America and the Barbary Pirates: An International Battle Against an Unconventional Foe – By Gerald W. Gawalt
Darrell Stoddard, www.saveusa.biz
Founder, Pain Research Institute - www.healpain.net
Email: [email protected] Phone: 801-377-3891
Footnotes (are presented after the list):
1, Justice Clarence Thomas and William Rehnquist Opinions Regarding Separation of Church and State
2. Were the Founding Fathers of the United States, Deists or Christian?
3. Food Stamps and Welfare
4. Pollution and Progress:
5. How civilization has been lifted up without laws or government planning
6. Freedom, and Free Enterprise
7. The Need for Balance of Power and Two Political Parties
8. Footnote On Health - To Save Your Life or the Life of a Loved One
9. Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust
10. How could one man in Nazi Germany lead an entire nation to kill so many?
11. Oath of Office and COVENANT WITH AMERICA for Elected Officials
12. The Eternal Consequences of Abortion and the story of EMILY
1, Justice Clarence Thomas and William Rehnquist Opinions Regarding Separation of Church and State
"Now lets take a look at the last portion of the first amendment.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...
Our Founding Fathers declared, in no uncertain terms, that Congress is not to prohibit the free exercise of religion in any way. If this is true, then how can our lawmakers, today, tell us that we can not pray in school? How can they tell us we can't speak of God at our graduation ceremonies? How can they tell us that we can't display crosses and other religious symbols across our nation? Why can't we display the Ten Commandments? Do we somehow give up our freedom of Religion every time we step into a school or government building? If so, how can this be considering the fact that the Constitution states that the government is prohibited from limiting the free exercise of Religion?
I submit to you that we can do all of these things and that this recent tide to limit the freedom of Religion is simply an effort to rewrite history.
Religious expression is protected by law. Displaying the "Ten Commandments" or any other religious symbol by a state or federal entity is protected by law. Praying at home, or in church, in public, in school, at work, in our government buildings, or anywhere else is also protected by law."
Justice William Rehnquist stated ... "the wall (in the separation of church and state) is a metaphor based on bad history, a metaphor that has proved useless as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned."
It is as wrong to prohibit religious expression (public or private) as it would be to prescribe a state religion. The rulings of Supreme Court regarding the "separation of church and state" since 1947 have taken public recognition of God out of the United States. Our government has legally rejected the God of this land.
2. Were the Founding Fathers of the United States Deists or Christian?
Many plain and precious truths about God have been removed from Unites States history books. It began with historians stating that the founders of our nation were not Christian but were Rosicrucian Deists. The statement has been repeated so often that we now believe it as absolute truth. Such a sweeping all inclusive claim is a gross distortion of history. It is true that some of the framers of the Constitution were Deists, but the statement by itself implies that they were all Deists. Most of them were not. If you want to verify this, see the book, Americas God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations by William J. Federer (Coppell, Tx: Fame Publishing, Inc.). This book contains over 2,100 quotes from nearly 700 sources highlighting Americas Christian heritage.
How can we invoke the blessings of God on our country when the Supreme Court prohibits prayer in our schools and prevents even mentioning the name of God in history books or on public monuments?
Benjamin Franklin wrote: "God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel"
- Constitutional Convention of 1787, original manuscript of this speech
John Jay, founding father and Americas first Supreme Court Chief Justice and Co-Author of the Federalist Papers wrote: "Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers....To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys. In proportion as the genuine effects of Christianity are diminished in any nation, either through unbelief, or the corruption's of its doctrines, or the neglect of its institutions; in the same proportion will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom, and approximate the miseries of complete despotism. "
"Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ" - Ether 2:12
3. Food Stamps and Welfare
Welfare in the form of food stamps can make men/women slaves. When we are totally dependent on the government for our welfare, we become slaves to that government.
Welfare (food stamps) can also make men/women free. When people are unable to work, welfare can free them from starvation. The difference between the welfare that makes people free and welfare that makes them slaves is whether or not the recipients work for what they get. There should be Mandatory Drug Screening before people are given food stamps and to save lives, we should give welfare only to those who are unable to work.
For those who are able to work, we should create jobs (by government for public work projects and by not taxing the businesses that create jobs).
In the 1930’s millions of men were out of work and the government made work for them on the WPA and in the CCC camps. The government paid for this with deficit spending. This kept families from starving to death (including my own family and the families of 3 uncles). Then came World War 2, full employment, and prosperity. Full (or near full) employment will save our economy, not by making the rich pay their fair share of taxes and not by cutting government spending.
Now we have more than 40 million people on food stamps, none of whom pay any federal income tax and none of whom do any work to get the food stamps.
The Food Stamp Program is administered by the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. More than 45 million people receive food stamps from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Meanwhile, the Park Service, also part of the Department of Agriculture, asks us to "please do not feed the animals" because the animals may grow dependent and not learn to take care of themselves.
4. Pollution and Progress:
If we compare the life expectancy of people before the industrial revolution with the life expectancy of people today, then we would do well to go to the blackest most polluting factory and smokestack we can find and kneel down before that factory and offer up a prayer of thanks (observation from Ayn Rand).
My mother born in 1906 got two oranges a year, one for Christmas and one for Easter. Because of industry, farmers seeking their own self interests, factories and 18 wheelers polluting the air, my children from 39 to 54 years of age had a fresh orange or orange juice every morning of their life.
Pollution in homes years ago was much worse than it is now. Even though I have never smoked cigarettes, I have the blackened lungs of a smoker and terminal pulmonary fibrosis because I grew up in a home that was heated with a coal stove. Coal stoves would give people the lungs of a smoker and also turned the walls in the house black. My children have never held a lump of coal let alone got one in their Christmas stocking.
The change from heating homes with coal to heating homes with natural gas did not come about because of the Environmental Protection Agency (there was none) or from taxes and penalties for polluting the environment. We have a cleaner environment today because of free enterprise and a competitive market place.
Tax free investments will also free us from pollution and from dependence on foreign oil (by converting our cars, buses, trucks, and power plants to run on natural gas which we have in abundance. In due time, technology will totally free us from polluting fossil fuels. Free enterprise and competition will give us a cleaner environment, not taxes.
5. How civilization has been lifted up without laws or government planning
When my grandmother in Denmark was only five years old, she would to go to dairies and beg for some of the milk they would feed to the pigs to keep her family from starving to death. My wife's great grandfather in England, when he was just seven years old, had to take his fathers place in the coal mines when his father died. Millions of children in England had to work in the mines, the mills, and the factories, but what was the alternative? ......The alternative was starvation (observation from Ayn Rand).
Child labor was wrong then (as it is now anywhere in the world), but with industry and tools to produce more food, goods, and services than the producers themselves need or use, comes the wealth to make child labor unthinkable. Child labor in industrial nations today does not exist, not because of laws to prevent it, but because child labor is not necessary to prevent starvation.
To learn more about the unseen forces (providence) that have lifted mankind up and given us the standard of living we now have, read the essay entitled, "I, Pencil" on the internet.
Deficit spending is not always bad for the economy. The government spent billions of dollars in World War II, dollars that it didn't have to finance the defense industries. Money was printed by the government that did not come from taxes. This not only won the war but it gave us near full employment and then after the war the most prosperous period and nation in the history of mankind.
6. Freedom, and Free Enterprise
Top down service makes men free and it also makes men and nations prosperous. To create wealth, leaders must be servants instead of masters. In Communist China under Communism the people were slaves. Since the Cultural Revolution, we have witnessed the effects of free enterprise in Modern China with the introduction of the same principles that made Japan prosperous. See my review of the book Self Help by Samuel Smiles on amazon.com
The miracle of modern China repeats the story of a nation moving from poverty and slavery to wealth and prosperity. Fifty years ago in China under a Communist government of slavery there were forty million people starving to death.
Today (because of the miracle of free enterprise) China has become one of the most powerful nations on earth. There is an abundance of food and almost no one is starving. What made the difference? One simple act: China gave the land in the collective farms back to the peasants. This freed the peasants from the slavery of Communism by allowing them to realize the fruits of their own labor.
FREEDOM AND FREE ENTERPRISE WORKS! PLANNED ECONOMIES AND SERVITUDE DOES NOT WORK. It never has and it never will.
Planned economies have never been able to produce enough food to feed their own people. It took people free to realize the fruits of their own labor to produce steamships, farming machinery, automobiles, trucks, airplanes, televisions, computers, and Ipods. Freedom (not laws, governments, government planning, or government control) has given us such inventions and the standard of living we now have.
7. The Need for Balance of Power and Two Political Parties
There must be a balance of power between the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches of government. I believe also that it is divinely inspired for us to have two political parties, one a party of Justice and the other a party of Mercy; wherein Justice cannot rob Mercy and Mercy cannot rob Justice. The Republican party is the party of Justice. The Democratic party is the party of Mercy.
8. Footnote On Health - To save your life or the life of a loved one
“Great Treasures of Knowledge, even Hidden Treasures”
(that cost nothing and could save your life) by Darrell Stoddard, copyright 2011
“Trans Fats” (margarine, shortening, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated vegetable oil) “cause between 73,000 and 228,000 heart attacks and strokes in the U.S. each year.” – N.E. Journal of Medicine/Harvard Medical School. This is a 180 degree reversal! We were told for 50 years to use margarine, shortening, and hydrogenated vegetable oils instead of butter and animal fats to prevent heart disease. Not acknowledging that the advice was totally wrong may be the reason why our grocery stores are still full of trans fats. (See: Why our 44 Year Old Son Died and Killer in the Grocery Store, articles 17 and 17.5 at www.healpain.net)
We learned from hundreds of autopsies performed during the Korean War that 77% of our U.S. soldiers had coronary artery disease at average age 23! (60% had advanced heart disease.) Korean and Chinese soldiers had no atherosclerosis at all. Their arteries were clean. What made the difference? Three things: 1. Trans fats, Our soldiers were raised on trans fats (shortening, margarine, and hydrogenated oils in nearly everything) especially, bread, baked and fried foods, hydrogenated peanut butter, French fries, potato chips, and even ice cream. At that time, trans fats could not be found any where in Korea or China. 2. Chlorine, We chlorinate our water. They boil theirs. (See: book, Coronaries Cholesterol Chlorine by Joseph Price, M.D.) 3. Too much iron in the U.S. diet, There is a significant correlation between heart disease and high iron levels in the blood. It could be the reason why women who menstruate don't have as much heart disease as men. If men donated blood regularly, they would probably have less heart disease. We fortify vitamins, and many prepared foods with iron. The Koreans and Chinese do not fortify anything with iron.
“No pain medications should be used indefinitely without thorough review by a physician of the long-term benefit to risk balance, because all of them (over the counter and prescription) can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke.” - Elliott Antman, MD, American Heart Association, and Harvard Medical School. This warning presents a significant dilemma: There are no medications to treat pain without harm. What, then, can be done for pain? Mainstream medicine does not know because (as preposterous as it seems) the cause and physiology of pain is not known. When no one knows what pain is then no one can legally claim to “heal” pain, only “manage” it? (See: article 4 & 5.3 at www.healpain.net.)
It is a biological fact that the brain works electrically. We are “brain dead” when there is no electricity going across the brain. We know the heart works electrically. When the sinus node which is the heart's pacemaker fails, we put in an electric pace maker. We know that movement is controlled by electrical signals in motor nerves. There is no question that many body functions are directed electrically and that all cells are connected electrically.
The underlying root cause of pain is broken, cut, or suppressed endogenous electrical signals between cells. I know this is true because I have measured the electrical resistance at the site of pain in more than 18,000 patients. Where there is pain, there is always more electrical resistance. Pain is “healed” when the broken circuits are reconnected. This is the total opposite of “pain management” which treats pain by suppressing the pain signal with medications that cause internal bleeding or liver failure, or drugs (narcotics and opioids) that cause addiction, paralyzed bowels, and respiratory suppression, all of which can cause loss of function, heart attacks, stroke, and death. For treating pain without harm, see: articles 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 6.2 and 10.2 at: www.healpain.net and the book, Pain Free for Life by Darrell Stoddard – 84,000 copies sold, now sold out – Used copies available for 1 cent plus S/H from Amazon.com
“Salt is Public Enemy Number One” – Recent declaration by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This is true of chemically altered salt that “pours when it rains.” Cows’ ankles will swell and they will die with congestive heart failure if their salt licks are made from such salt. High blood pressure, edema, and congestive heart failure may be caused or made worse by salt that pours when it rains. Natural salt (the way God made it) that cakes and does not pour when it rains, should not be avoided or even restricted! The two salts do not have the same molecular structure and are not the same element. Natural sea salt, such as “Real Salt,” with all of the trace minerals, and no aluminum anti caking agents, may actually prevent dehydration, high blood pressure, edema, and congestive heart failure. A patient had ankles swelled up as big as her calves, even with a diuretic. After switching to “Real Salt” the swelling disappeared. Her ankles never swelled again (even without a diuretic) until her death years later. (To learn how indispensable the right kind of salt and minerals are for good health, search Google for “Success Cases – Ocean Plasma” – Be sure to click on the photo “Details.”
Diabetes Epidemic and Thyroid Dysfunction: In the periodic table of elements, four elements are very similar: iodine, chlorine, fluorine (fluoride) and bromine (bromides). Both the pancreas and thyroid must have iodine, but chlorine, fluorine, and bromine (in bromated flour) often replace the iodine. This can lead to diabetes and thyroid failure. Chlorine will evaporate if you let drinking water sit for two hours without a lid on it. Also, a carbon filter will eliminate chlorine in drinking water and chlorine that is absorbed through the skin in the shower. For a healthy thyroid and diabetes prevention, do not use fluoride tooth paste or fluoridated water. Also, avoid bromine (outlawed in Europe) that is in all bromated (most) white flour. See: “Bromides?? In bread – The Iodine Project” on Google. Avoiding the above three elements and taking 2 - 4 drops of Lugol’s iodine each day has even cured diabetes. How important is this compared to insulin injections for life and going blind?
The Cholesterol/Lipid Hypothesis of Heart Disease: We have been told for 50 years that “cholesterol is bad because it causes heart disease.” It is an indisputable biological fact that not one cell in our bodies can live without cholesterol. Cholesterol is a vital part of every living cell. When cholesterol is so essential for all life, HOW CAN CHOLESTEROL BE BAD? How did we (including nearly all medical doctors) become so brainwashed into thinking cholesterol is bad? Answer: Because of the advertising (telling us cholesterol is bad) to sell more than 25 billion dollars worth of Statin drugs in the U.S. each year! George Mann, M.D., a principal investigator of the Framingham Study, believes the cholesterol hypothesis of heart disease is the greatest scam in the history of medicine. Eighty eight world leading scientists agree. (Search: “THINCS” on Google.) Why is their research unknown? Because these scientists don't reap immense (or any) profits from promoting Statin drugs. Cholesterol is so essential for life that lowering cholesterol is equivalent to removing the brain to cure Alzheimer's. Healing and cellular division cannot occur without cholesterol. A best friend on Lipitor died on the operating table because he didn't have enough cholesterol to heal from the surgery. If you or a loved one are taking a Statin drug, you must learn why we need cholesterol to live, and to learn the side effects of not enough cholesterol. (See: articles 10, 17, 17.5, 18, and 32.2 at www.healpain.net and The Great Cholesterol Scam at www.spacedoc.net ).
The Word “Osteoporosis” Was Not in the Dictionary in 1949. The Mormon “Word of Wisdom” (D&C Section 89) published 116 years before in 1833, tells us to abstain from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, caffeine “hot drinks” (tea and coffee), and to eat meat sparingly. What does the latest scientific research tell us are the “calcium robbers” and causes of osteoporosis? Alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, phosphorus in red meats and soft drinks, and corticosteroids. (See: the book, Stand Tall by Morris Notelovitz, M.D., or any definitive osteoporosis study.)
Aluminum is a Neurological Poison and May Cause Fibromyalgia and Alzheimer's. Aluminum antiperspirants, soda from aluminum cans, aluminum cookware, and baking powder containing aluminum should be avoided. (See: A Free Cure (?) for Fibromyalgia, article 7, and also articles 8 and 29 at www.healpain.net. For breaking news [3-18-11] regarding aluminum, too much iron, and how both may contribute to, or be a cause of breast cancer, search Google for: NEW Studies Reveal Hidden Cause of Breast Cancer by R. Blaylock. M.D.)
If you abstain from: alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee, trans fats (margarine, shortening, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils), salt that pours when it rains, chlorine, fluoridated water and tooth paste, bromine in bromated flour, added iron in vitamins or food, all pain medications, antiperspirant deodorants, soft drinks in aluminum cans, and anything to lower your cholesterol (natural or not), it will cost nothing and will do as much good for your health as all of the drugs in the pharmacy, and all of the vitamins, herbs, and minerals in the health food store. For more “hidden treasures” to relieve or cure: depression, headaches, macular degeneration, RSD, or Meniere’s disease, see: articles 22, 23, 24, 25, and 27 at www.healpain.net.)
9. Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust
People today need to know that Hitler did not invent anti-Semitism. It began with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and has never ceased. It is mind boggling to learn that throughout history there have been innumerable and hundreds of attempts in many countries to kill all of the Jews. (See "Pogroms" on Google, then read the Wikipedia account.)
I was shocked beyond belief to read Martin Luther's anti Jewish sentiments published in 1543 (See "On the Jews and Their Lies - Wikipedia." Luther's feelings about the Jews and what should be done to them were as vile and reprehensible, as any words spoken in Nazi Germany. Indeed, Luther's document may have been the blueprint for the Nazi Holocaust.
Seeing history repeat itself so many times makes us wonder if there is hope to save the Jews and the world from so much hate and killing. Pope John VI in 1965 issued his historic "Nostra Aetate" that expresses understanding, forgiveness and love for the Jews and for all religions. Pope John VI stated in his history changing document that the death of Christ, "cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today." The age old doctrine behind all of the Pogroms which stated that "all Jews, past, present, and future were collectively guilty of the Crucifixion of Jesus," was officially revoked by a Catholic Pope! EVERYONE should read entirely the "Nostra Aetate" which is one of the most important documents in the history of mankind (It takes just a few minutes to read and can be found on Google)!
The current Pope Benedict XVI who was forced to join the Hitler Youth as a child in Nazi Germany (in two books) has made a sweeping exoneration of the Jewish people for the death of Jesus Christ. There is hope for the world! These are history changing actions by two Catholic Popes. It would be well for everyone who wants the world to be a better place to thank Catholics for Pope John VI and for Pope Benedict XVI.
We must be ever vigilant against condemning another. "Therefore thou art inexcusable, Oh man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself: for thou that judgest doest the same things." (Romans 2:1). Jews who migrated to Israel after World War 11, themselves committed a Holocaust of the Palestinian people. Thousands of Palestinians were killed and nearly one million were forced into refugee camps. "This is my Land. God gave this Land to me," was not justification for killing the Palestinians!
There is one notable voice in the Middle East that documents the atrocities by all three sides and seeks to reconcile Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Elias Chacour, a Palestinian Melkite Christian Priest has established a school in Ibillon near Galilee where Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Druze study side by side. More important than their secular studies, students learn to love their enemies. To bring peace to the Holy Land, Elias Chacour's book "BLOOD BROTHERS" SHOULD BE REQUIRED READING FOR EVERYONE.
Two unsung and less known heroes of the Holocaust are Irena Sendler and Raoul Wallenberg. Their stories should be told along with the stories of Oskar Schindler, Corrie Ten Boom, and Anne Frank. Irena Sendler was a Polish Catholic Social worker who saved more than 2500 Jewish Children from the Warsaw Ghetto. If you have any interest in the Holocaust, YOU MUST READ the inspiring story "Life in A Jar - The Irena Sendler Story" on Google. In 2007 when Sendler was still alive, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Al Gore received the prize that year instead.
Raoul Wallenberg is credited with saving near 100,000 Hungarian Jews. At the peril of his life he defied the Nazis innumerable times. Read a summary of Wallenberg's unbelievable courage to save Hungarian Jews on Google: "Profile of a Leader: The Wallenberg Effect." See Wallenberg's complete story in the book "Righteous Gentile" available used from amazon.com from a number of book dealers for one cent plus $3.99 for shipping and handling. EVERY reviewer gave the book 5 stars! Unlike Schindler, Wallenberg had only his humanity and no ulterior motive in saving Jews; and he probably saved more Jews than Schindler.
Few Motion pictures can compare to the book. The motion picture "Wallenberg: A Hero's Story" is near equal to the book "Righteous Gentile"! Both the book and the movie will lift your very being to heaven. Man at his best is so good, so noble, so Christ like, that we would should throw a cover over men and women when they are less. Mankind needs Hero's like Wallenberg to lift and redeem us. It will make anyone a better person to make the book or the motion picture a part of their life.
See all of my motion picture reviews "By Darrell" on amazon.com
10. How could one man in Nazi Germany lead an entire nation to kill so many?
The answer to what is one of the blackest events in history has been a lfetime quandary.
The motion picture Boy in the Stripped Pajamas gave me answers that I have been seeking. That it might help you also to understand, I am posting here my review of the motion picture:
This emotionally wrenching film deserves 10 Stars. Changed my life forever and a major part of my life was spent in motion pictures. The movie will change your life everlastingly too if you open your heart to a simple fictional story of a little German boy who befriends a Jewish boy through the barbed wire fence of a concentration camp.
My heart was ripped out, but I will be a more loving, gracious, forgiving person for having seen this sensitive and also horrifying motion picture. YES, as the reviewers have said: It is "historically inaccurate to the extreme." "It is total fiction." It is "ridiculously contrived." It is "all too absurd." It is "hard to swallow." It is "forced and artificial," and "The actors have British accents instead of German."
One critic posed the question, "Did Bruno's father in the end get what he deserved?" Such moralizing and such criticisms of the film make me wonder if those viewers of the film missed the unanswered questions of the Holocaust. How could it happen? How could so many good people allow it to happen?
The most insightful reviewer said, "What is appalling to me is reading all of the one-star reviews. I now see how the holocaust (shoah) could have taken place. All that is necessary is for a nation to be composed of and ruled by people with no feelings, bereft of human compassion and sensitivity, just like several of the reviewers here."
Great Art (even fiction) reveals to us "things as they really are". Through Bruno and his mother, we see through the eyes of Germans who were totally innocent until they came face to face with with the horrors of the "final solution." Most Europeans accepted the deportation of Jews, some not knowing what would be their fate and others even accepting the fate of Jews because it was so easy to blame Jewish Merchants and Jewish Bankers for World War 1 and for the collapse of the German economy. Savings were totally wiped out. It took 22 million German Marks to buy a loaf of bread. Though not the same, we can understand today how easy it would be to blame all Muslims for 9/11.
Through Bruno's sister we see how easy it was to indoctrinate an entire nation of German youth. A notable exception was the 17 year old Mormon boy, Helmuth Hubener, that resisted the 3rd Reich and was sentenced by a German Court for treason and beheaded by guillotine on October 27, 1942 at Plötzensee Prison in Berlin. (See his true story on Wikipedia!)
In this motion picture we see and learn how good men, good fathers, and good soldiers, putting military obedience ahead of even their mothers, wives and children, directed and became the executioners of millions of Jews. Even still photos of all the corpses, and eye witness accounts of the Holocaust do not give us that understanding.
Last, by identifying and seeing through the eyes of an innocent child, we learn from the film what it was like to be ordered into the gas chambers. No other motion picture, book, or document has ever, or ever will, capture that experience or the depth of those feelings like the film "Boy in the Stripped Pajamas."
Would that each viewer could become as a little child (Matthew 18:3), like Bruno, not judgmental, and not critical. The Holocaust (like the film) is hard to believe but the gas chambers to kill and the ovens to burn bodies were real. I've seen them with my own eyes. I've been in the house made sacred by Anne Frank. My next door neighbor was one of the first U.S. soldiers into the Dachau Prison Camp, and my neighbor across the street served in the Danish Underground.
Let us resolve, NEVER AGAIN, not just in five languages, but in all the languages of the world. There were those in Germany that truly did not know what was happening to the Jews, but no other film answers for me how an entire nation could be led by one man to kill, or accept the killing, of so many. I will be forever haunted by the words, "If he had been your Fuehrer, you would have followed him too." Although it is fiction, "Boy In the Striped Pajamas" reveals not the historical truth, but the TRUTH of Nazi Germany as it
See all of my motion picture reviews "By Darrell" on amazon.com I write only about books, events, or motion pictures that have changed the course of history or unforgettable books or motion pictures that will totally change peoples lives.
11. Oath of Office and COVENANT WITH AMERICA for Elected Officials
1. I will uphold and support the Constitution of the United States. My election to office is to serve, not to be served. My oratory or debate skills, my acquired or inherited wealth, do not make me better than other people, or the people I represent.
2. I am not going to Washington to set myself up "for a light unto the world, to get gain and praise of the world." If I am a millionaire (not counting my houses and cars) or if I become a millionaire from serving in the government, I will serve without pay.
3. I will support or sponsor legislation to eliminate all federal taxes (personal and corporate) and replace such taxes with a national consumer sales tax. This will put millions of people to work and lead to a balanced budget.
4. We will be blessed as long as we recognize the God who inspired the Constitution and who gave us this free land that is choice above all others. I believe Jesus Christ (and the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob) is the God of this land. I will sponsor and support an amendment to put God back in our history books, to allow for prayer and all voluntary expressions of religious faith back in our public schools, and to put the Ten Commandments back in our public places. This does not constitute an "establishment of Religion." Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech guarantees us the right to recognize the God, publicly as well as privately.
5. I believe the Constitution and our form of government are divinely inspired. The Supreme Court decisions since 1947 regarding separation of church and state are a denial and rejection of the First Amendment to the Constitution. The decisions are Anti Christian and Anti Jewish. The Supreme Court has taken God out of America as effectively as the Anti-Christ - which is what the Supreme Court has become by making such decisions.
6. All human life is sacred. The answer for abortion is not to judge or condemn. “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” We should help, love, and pray for women with unwanted pregnancies and also save the unborn, by recognizing and teaching this sublime truth: that every mortal human being from conception, is a child of the living God, created to become and grow into His very image and likeness.
12. The Eternal Consequences of Abortion and the story of EMILY
Every article, every statement, every debate, on the subject of
abortion, only polarizes advocates for or against abortion. Not
even the war in Iraq will elicit stronger feelings. I believe in the
sacredness of all life - the life of one who is seeking an abortion
and the life of the unborn fetus.
We must love those with a different point of view and even our
enemies. It can be done by blessing them, doing good to them
and praying for them. For God to bless our country, we must save
both his little ones and women with unwanted pregnancies. I
believe the following story will do this:
(c) Copyright 1982 by Marvin Payne and Larry Barkdull
I'm seventeen and pregnant, and I think today I’ll walk home. Other
times I've taken the bus. Every time its been a drag. The first time it
You see, there was no way I could have asked anybody to drive me
-not here. Anyway, it had to be a secret. You’ll see why. Myself, I
don’t drive. Don’t think that’s weird. I know I’m seventeen and
American and consume a normal share of Levis and French fries, but
driving just never seemed all that important. What seemed important was
laying back after four good hours of hard practice on the gorgeous
Bosendorfer piano my parents hocked their lives to buy for me and
sliding into my usual dream.
Somehow I was even taller in that dream, a little darker and more
mysterious, probably slimmer. Sitting there at the piano bench in my
dream (the bench that goes with the Bosendorfer - I had my own piano
shipped to all the concert halls, which were sometimes in New York
but usually in Vienna) my back was always a little straighter. (In real life,
I kind of stoop. Tall is okay in dreams, in Vienna, in the Lakers’
front lineup, but being exactly the same height as Beanpole Phil is a
little hard to handle.)
Phil’s my boyfriend - although I guess now the world would call
him my “lover.” Phil’s pregnant, too. Of course nobody knew that,
and maybe nobody ever would, and of course there are lots of people
who even if they heard it wouldn’t know - I mean, wouldn’t look at it
that way. But Phil knew he was pregnant, at least at first, and that’s
one of the reasons I kept loving him. And, of course, Phil is the only
one who knew, back then, about me.
Phil couldn’t drive me here either. He didn’t have a car (he had
a saxophone). And you don’t just dance in and say, “Gee, Dad, can
I take the Buick and run Vivian over to the abortion clinic?” He
wouldn’t lie just for my convenience - he’s a good guy , and locking
up the truth so tight inside him was enough of a lie to make him hurt a
Lots of things hurt these days. Like trying to figure out how all
that sweetness we once had turned to bitter ashes in our mouths.
It also hurts to remember Buicks and back seats, but there they
So, I’ve always taken the bus. The first time it was hot, and even
though I was pretty much over all the throwing up and weird food ideas
(try keeping that from your folks), I wished I was morning sick again
so I’d have something to blame all the horribleness on, besides just the
heat and the dumb jerking bus. Still, the bus ordeal isn’t what stands
out in my memory of the first time I ever came here.
And it isn’t the fear that stands out, either. The fear was really
frantic that day. It had become part of me and had to go wherever I
went, whether it was to the clinic for the first time all alone or just to
church with lots of friends who dressed the same as always, only
dangerously simpler now that it was summer. Lots of friends with
nothing to hide.
I don’t remember it so much because of the clinic being brand
new, hiding clean, white, and confident among the trees. No big sign,
of course. Nothing memorable.
It’s not the smell, either. Of the clinic, I mean, once I made
it through the door. I just thought it was the smell of “doctor” or “health”
or that it was just piped in with the muzak. It smelled like Authority.
It smelled Safe. It didn’t smell like Death at all. And that, more than any
other thing, surprised me. But not enough to really stand out.
It isn’t the smell. Not the professional frayed green smacks the
doctors wear. It isn’t the cool, quick moves and the low-calorie smile
of the nurse. Not the Scandinavian couches and the anonymous
magazines, with the only true and living way to lose all that ugly fat
without a lick of self-control, and brand new lip gloss you can see
yourself in, and all this is going on and on and Clearasil being sold
by the carload as though I wasn’t even here! On the edge of the
universe. About to jump off.
It isn’t the tanned forty-year-old lady with the tennis racket handle
poking out of her canvas purse. Not the Mrs. Santa Claus receptionist
who purred reassurances at the frightened teenager at the counter. Not
the slick, full-color pamphlets and ads and mini-posters she dealt me
like so many fives under the table that stand out in my memory of the
first time here.
It’s the bus ride home. It's Emily.
Now Emily was tall, probably as tall as me even. It’s a good thing
she was sitting down, or I might have avoided her. Being a walking
skyscraper is a whole different kind of handicap altogether. For us,
being seen in groups just tends to magnify the embarrassment.
But she was sitting down next to the only empty seat and smiled at
me as though she’d been waiting to all night. I sat down quick on the
abortion hype, before she could see it.
It was strange to see her - really strange, like deja-vu. But good.
Her dark hair had that whisper of auburn in it that I always wanted
in mine. I’d imagined it in the mirror millions of times, but here it was,
for real. She had a beautifully symmetrical face, the kind I always
thought I had until I was eleven, and my grandparents put a second
mirror on the side wall of their bathroom, and I saw a reflection of my
reflection and began to wonder how the world could go on tolerating
such a lopsided mess.
Maybe “dazzlingly beautiful” wasn’t the right thing to say, exactly,
but she had a look - smart, not like in knowing all the right answers, but
knowing the right questions. She looked like kindness - not the sort that
spreads itself all over you like honey, but that absorbs your sorrow and
fear and dark and leaves you blue sky.
I didn’t think all this the moment I sat down. I don’t know if I
thought anything. I mostly just felt things, and it’s hard to say what
they were. Did you ever meet somebody and just know immediately
what they meant when they said those masterfully articulate things like,
“Yeah...,” while slowly nodding and looking at the sidewalk, or when
they wrinkled their forehead and said, “Hey, I know”? I’m talking about
the three or four times in your whole life when you’ve been with
somebody, and they broke out laughing, and along with the release you
felt perfectly safe. You knew them, but you never learned them, never
got to know them. You didn’t have to. That was Emily. I could
tell my life to someone like this. Maybe I would. Because she looked
Not meaning “a babe” (though I guess some people would say that
anyway). She looked good - meaning, she looked like she was good. She
looked good in a way that if you saw her in public (lets say, on a bus, for
instance), you’d wish she were your sister. Or mother, if you were little.
Or daughter, if you were grown. I guess if you were a guy and saw here,
you’d wish she could be your wife - but I’d be careful with that wish and
hold it high and live good for it, or it might fade - even disappear. She
was an ideal, more like a dream - not always there, not cheap, not easy
to have, not just anybody’s. Everything about her seemed to say (and
somehow it didn’t sound trite and not a bit memorized), “I’m not that
kind of girl.”
And I’m not that kind of girl either, no matter how it looks. But there
I was, on the bus and saying, “Hi” but meaning, “Help me! Hear me! Love
me! You can do it! Because I know you , and you’re like me ! Because
you’re all I ever wanted to be, and can you play the piano? Please, please
play the piano - I mean live it and know it and pour your sweet self into the
night through that piano and push those keys like you were pushing open
doors down in some hall in your soul where secret things are kept. Do you
have a boyfriend? Do you know Phil? Hey, neither do I, but I’m learning
him. I think - I mean it’s not the same. I mean, my relationship with you
is thirty seconds old, and already it’s worth more than what I have with
Phil. Is this too heavy? Hey, but I need to talk about him.
“Y’ know, I thought I was safe with him. But I wasn’t.
“You have to really listen. You have to understand. This part
is really important.
“It’s not what you think. I mean how many times do you hear
someone in trouble say it was ‘accidental,’ or ‘We just didn’t know what
we were doing’? Well, forget that. You know. Everybody who does it
knows. You can’t do it without knowing it’s enormously wrong. Some
voice says, ‘This is wrong’ very clearly, and you have to decide to ignore
it. You feel a note that’s not in chord; you feel a stroke against the current.
All you have to ask is, ‘What is this for? Are we going to make a home?
Are we gonna be a family? But you decide not to ask.
“Maybe some people do stumble into it, just start all that petting and
get into those heavy squeezes and into the idea that they have to prove
their love, and after awhile the love gets about a third as important as the
proving - so sometimes they even forget what they were trying to prove,
forget that a grin and some kindness might have been all the proof they
needed. But sill they think they’re safe, holding red coals in paper
gloves and blowing on them, unafraid because there’s no actual flame yet.
So they lean up against the wall they thought that somebody’d built
between holding hands and going all the way and whump! They’re on
the other side. ‘Cause you know what? There is no wall!
“But listen, that’s the difference between us and them. We knew
there was no wall. And standing one day in front of the psych building in
broad daylight at lunch time, we pooled our oceans of wisdom and
decided that if the wall was just something society made up in its head to
control its children with, we’d had it with being controlled, and we were
moving on through. I mean, if you’re gonna have each other In ever way
you can think of on one side of it, what can be all that wrong with having
each other in just one more way, the big way, on the other side? We both
wanted to - not in a hungry little drive-in movie way, but in a poetic way,
sealing a trust (we’d read in Western Civilization about ancient Greeks
looking at it that way, so it had a nice heroic ring to it). It seemed some
how dishonest, hypocritical, not to do what we both wanted to do. It
seemed like living a lie. Hey, we were eloquent! We inflated it into
something Noble, Brave, Beautiful, and Liberating!
“It’s just such a cheap, rotten trick that all we had was the stupid
Buick! ‘Cause it makes me feel like ‘that kind of girl.’ But I’m not! Believe
me! Believe that I’m not! Then tell me I’m not! Please, please tell me I’m
That’s what I meant, when all I said was, “Hi.” But she knew there
was something, because she’d been waiting. And she said her name was
Emily and that she was on her way home from her piano lesson. And I said
my name was Vivian. And though my parents were still on the outside of all
this, and I was throwing fences up against the world, I told Emily where I’d
Emily wasn’t freaked out or even appalled. I might have thought,
“Wow! To find a friend with all this amazing goodness and grace who
understands and even supports me in my decision!” But I didn’t. Because
I could see a shadow in that face, the one time I looked up after I started
my story. But she didn‘t come down on me - just listened, and even the
lots of times she called me and the one time (just after I told my folks)
that we met at the library, she mostly just listened. OH, she’d tell me about
her dreams a lot, her visions of music and romance and glory, but they
were almost identical to mine, so it was even like she was listening to me
as we talked. There were dozens of things we talked about that would
sound like nothings if I told you what they were - things that were
important because we shared them, not because they were important
all by themselves. And I never hesitated for a moment when I told her
when the pain got sharper, or the guilt harder, or the fear more shrill.
And she never turned me off. I think she knew that trust, that freedom
to tell, was what made our friendship so secret and sacred, too. And it
felt good, like a window thrown open and darkness and heat rushing out
I got to feeling a kind of thrill every time the phone rang, thinking it
might be her. But sometimes it was Phil.
The conversations were always short. Because there was the double
risk of his folks and mine overhearing. And there wasn’t much else to talk
about, anymore, really almost nothing to hold us together now (and this hurt
a lot) except the Pregnancy Problem, which seemed now like a whole other
thing than The Buick Problem.
The Buick Problem was a couple of light years from being resolved,
but Phil had come to taste the ashes even before me - not long but a little.
That was one of the freakiest times of my life, when ”the big sealing” was
over, and I was looking triumphantly out into the depths of the universe
of All Meanings like some kind of goddess and suddenly noticed that Phil
was crying. He cried not so much like you do at a sunrise or Brahms but
like when you were six and your puppy got poisoned.
He clinched his fist and shook his head. He was going to marry me,
he was going to kill himself (I wasn’t to flattered at how he put those two
things right together), he was running away that night forever, he was going
to stay and confess in front of the whole church. It almost seemed funny, if
it weren’t for two things: One, it was brutally opposite to what I was feeling,
and two, the guy was so obviously, honestly, painfully, no-kidding torn apart.
And I loved him, so it brought me down. But I didn’t like it down
there - it started feeling like “truth,” so I tried to bring him up, to show him
it was ok. “No way, Viv! can’t you see? It’s not what we expected! It
hurts!” And then he said, with hurt I could feel, “Viv, we did the wrong
thing! We did the wrong damn thing!” Strange, it didn’t move me - just
made me a little mad. He said more - things that took some courage, but
nothing he said ever did get to me. Finally the guilt came all on its own, like
the power going off in the middle of your favorite movie or like the bang of
the balloon and then the birthday baby’s tears. It all came home. I fought
it hard for maybe four seconds before it took me. And for all we had lost,
now we at least had this together: the same bitter ashes, the same cold fear.
Over the next days a numbness set in. Sleeping was better than
being awake, and waking up was hardest. Every morning it was like, “Oh,
yeah. I remember now. Is it true? Yeah, true.” And even then we only
knew half the truth - didn’t know yet that we were pregnant. (And that
was merciful. I think if I had known that awesome second half in those
first few days, seen that second monster hiding huge and inevitable
behind the first, I’d have died of fright, sheer panic. But we were both
too distracted and scared to even look.) We'd gutted it out, prayed about
it, wondered with all our strength what to do about the guilt. We’d both
heard all the current advice on getting rid of “guilt feelings,” but I’m not
talking about “guilt feelings.” I’m talking about “guilt,” the all-seeing
merciless truth of having done wrong. And the more we wondered, and
the more we tried to work our own way out of the trap, the more we
forgot what to do. Parents, church, all the helps we’d been taught - the
more we tried to figure out the dirt, the more we forgot about water.
So in the end we didn’t do anything and comforted ourselves as
much as we could with the idea that The Buick Problem might go away
on its own. And anyway, for all the torture in our consciences, it didn’t
But The Pregnancy Problem had started too, and telling Phil was
harder than finding out myself, even. I tried to make it easier by
imagining Phil as a pinstripe-lawyer husband who would hire a
governess while I practiced the piano all day and went on tour, and
who could easily alter dates on birth certificates without anyone
knowing - or could even change the law to make it perfectly
acceptable to get pregnant before you were married.
But then I imagined myself stumbling through the dark toward my
parents’ cabin in a howling blizzard because, of course, Phil had lost all
respect for me and kicked me out. When I staggered up to the door,
there was a note stuck on it with a Bowie knife, “We once had a daughter
but no more. Get lost.” Then I collapsed in a snowdrift and knew that no
one would take me in and have me as daughter or wife, even if I was
lucky enough to thaw.
Finally things got more real in my head, and I pictured Phil with
a lawnmower and wondered almost aloud if he could really mow enough
lawns to support us. It’s the only job he’d ever had.
When it happened, it wasn’t like any of those things. It was on
the sidewalk in front of Standard Brands Paint, on the way home from
finals. I couldn’t even wait till we were really alone. Anyway, being
really alone felt different than it once had. You wouldn’t have believed
“How do you know?”
“ I know, I wasn’t sure at first, but now I know.”
“But how can you really know?”
He wouldn’t take my word for it. I had to tell him things that
embarrassed me. I was amazed. He’d been in all the same classes at
school, but it was all charts and giggles. Now here it was, for real.
“Wow,” he said.
I didn’t comment on that.
“Do your folks know?”
“Your sure it’s not something else?”
I didn’t feel like I even knew this guy.
He whispered, with a groping tremble in his voice, “Viv, I’ll
But I knew, and Phil knew, and every blade of grass, and every
little reflector bump on the freeway knew that Saxophone Phil was not
gonna marry Amazon Vivian and her baby.
“Baby!” There it was! Nobody’d said it yet. And the very idea
that this little cell multiplication going on down there would ever be a
baby scared me and Phil clear into next week. And next week, we were
still pretending there could be a Mrs. Phil, and he had even gotten it all
in the dream stage, with a music room for the Bosendorfer even, but the
fear and the dream stood on opposite pans in the scale, and each was
growing, and since Phil was doing zero to actually prepare to be Mr.
Vivian, I had to see that the fear was out swelling the dream. And I
could imagine the growth inside me out swelling them both.
So it didn’t surprise me much when he asked me what I knew
I’d been to the clinic. I’d met Emily. I told you about that.
Something I didn’t tell you about was the recording session.
It was really strange. We’d tried my dad’s cassette recorder, but it
kept sounding like choirs of Chinese bees. So we just looked in the yellow
pages and picked out a place, “World-wide Syndicated Studios.” It turned
out to be in a storage complex, those things that look like rows of garages
along the freeway. My dad and I walked in and were met by a blonde kid
with long hair who seemed to be struggling with his English. My dad let me
do the talking (poor Dad - he’s come to and slept through untold dozens of
concerts,waking up for my solos. He loves me. I told you already about
the Bosendorfer). First the kid wanted to know if I was “going down
multi-track,”and I sad no, we’d probably just be returning on the freeway
and thought it was valiant of him to try a little small talk. Then he
asked me if I would “overdub” the rhythm section. I didn’t know if
“overdub” was really a word, but it didn’t matter, because I explained that
the sonata I needed to record didn’t really have a “rhythm” section,
unless he meant the “scherzo” movement at the end. He looked at me as
though I’d suddenly lapsed into Swahili, and once I saw that I
couldn’t relate particularly well to the hired help, I asked to see the piano,
something familiar and trustworthy. He pointed through a smoky window
in the wall and threw light switch. Electric! The switch, of course,
but also the piano! It was a piano that plugged in! An Appliance! The
next Tuesday my uncle brought over his nice reel-to-reel and a
microphone, and we asked our neighbor to please not mow his lawn for
I’m telling you about the recording session so you can know about
my life. What it says about my life is that I’d decided to have one - a life,
I mean. You see, the tape of the sonata was required along with the
written stuff in applying for a scholarship to the Nibley Institute. They
have a great piano program there, with Bachauer Festival and all, and I
figured that it was my best shot at a concert career, which I’d been
getting out of bed for everyday since I was about three.
Phil had started feeling like abortion was about the greatest thing
since Earth Shoes; the stuff I got at the clinic reassured me a lot
- simple procedure, out in an hour, just a clump of cells gone, and I
began chalking up the darkness in Emily’s voice to some problem of her
own. Sure, a lot of people had tried to make some kind of moral big
deal out of it, but they’d done the same thing with girls wearing boots to
church dances, and there were even people reported in Time magazine
who said that “Rockford Files” was from the devil.
So I was blasting ahead anyway, and if I couldn’t be perfect in
every way, that was no reason why I couldn’t at least be excellent in
Then Phil had his interview with Ned. (I know we should call him
by his real church title, and we did, whenever we were with him, but he’d
been Phil’s scoutmaster for such a long time as just “Ned,” before he was
made “shepherd” over the entire flock of believers in Phil’s end of town.
Besides, our folks still call him Ned.) The interview wasn’t for a special
calling or anything - Ned just wanted to see how Phil was doing. Well,
Ned had this way of seeing through any kind of jive, and Phil was no
good at jive anyway, so he spilled it all (not all, just about his part - and
that’s when he forgot that he was pregnant). I’m not attacking Phil’ he
did the right thing, I guess. It’s just that his timing was so lousy. Better
if he’d waited, say twenty or thirty years. Ned wouldn’t have told
my folks, I don’t think, but I thought maybe I’d better tell them just in
They did not take it well. The tough part was trying to be selective
about the details. I mean, to admit that you’re pregnant is one thing.
To admit that you got pregnant ought to be something else. To let on
that you’re having an abortion ought to be a whole other thing entirely.
So I told them about the Buick and not about the clump of cells.
I really expected my mother to be the steady one and my dad to
freak out. I mean, he’s the one who interviewed all my dates and never
fell asleep ‘till I got home. Even on the night of the Buick he was awake.
His voice from the bedroom:
“That you, Viv?”
“Everything all right?”
Then he was out. Knowing his only daughter was safe and good
and home, he let go of the day and let himself dream. Because he trusted
But when I told them, both together, my mother became a total
basket case. I wanted to feel for her, to try to reach out and help, but it
was like she had become someone else - someone I didn’t know and could
never have recognized. And I guess with all the embarrassment and guilt
I felt, I also was a little annoyed that she hadn’t just calmly sentenced me
to hang by the neck until dead and then gone to the kitchen phone to make
the arrangements and then whisked upstairs to make sure I had the proper
clothes or something predictable like that. But there was my mother,
the always composed, ever considerate Mrs. Wilding, who met my
passing her up in height with mixed emotions, relieved that she was no
longer the tallest living Wilding but genuinely concerned about what
that distinction might mean to a sensitive sixteen-year-old. She was sobbing
and listing all the things they’d done for me, as though she was reaching
for pieces of furniture even down to table lamps and clocks and piling
them against the front door to keep out the monster who had already
entered and was sitting on the piano bench watching.
This may sound a little cold and mean. I don’t want it to. I love
my mother. And in a way that’s big and deep and a little strange (being
mainly another way of loving herself), she loves me. It’s just that it was
always my dad who was good at “Warm.”
He sat on the couch and looked at the glass grapes on the coffee
table for a long time, in the hugest silence, almost smiling. He
wasn’t quiet for my mother’s sake - I don’t think he even heard
her. He was just quiet, thinking. You know how if the sun was the
size of a baseball, then the earth would be as big as a fruit fly or
something like that. Well, if my life was the size of those glass grapes,
the length of his silence was the length of my life. And every grape
a lens into a different moment of my childhood.
And through all the silence (neither of us heard Mom now) I
looked at my dad, wanting with all my heart for him to look at me and
so ashamed and scared that I hoped he never would.
“Viv, we’re glad you told us. We love you.” Then turned,
turned huge and sad like the world turns away from the sun, and looked
at me. There were tears in his eyes - tears and still almost a smile. And
softly and simply and surely he said (and even Mom was still, now),
“Viv, It’s over. You told us now. No need to worry anymore. The
book’s closed on this, Viv. It’s all over.”
But it wasn’t closed. And something priceless and holy inside
me died. Not because of some sin in some Buick, but because I knew
my father believed what he’d said.
We always went to the library in the next town over. It was
bigger and newer and had lots of lounge-type areas and a big music
listening room, and, of course, lots of books. But we didn’t really
go for any of that stuff. We went because our boys went there to
check out new girls from the other high school, and we felt like we
needed to protect our interests. Even in summer it was that way.
That’s not why I went there, anymore, and certainly not why I
suggested that Emily meet me there. It’s just that, well, it was still
kind of “where it’s at.”
I hurried through the main hall with its sunken lounge, on to
where it was cooler, smaller, safer, where Emily would be, by the
Renaissance books. She was really into Renaissance and talked about
it a lot. But I didn’t hurry too fast - didn’t walk loudly. Didn’t want
the hungry boys to look up and say, “Gee, what a tall girl - sure walks
loud,” and then notice that my shoes were size fifty-four. That’s not
true. Actually they were sandals.
But when I got to the Renaissance place and Emily wasn’t there
yet, I looked down, and the sandals had changed into gym shoes - not
sleek windswept running shoes, but big clunky basketball shoes, white
high-topped Converse basketball shoes, about size fifty-eight. And
suddenly it wasn’t me standing in them.
And the world laughed. And it spun one double-time spin on its
axis, something it’d always wanted to do. And then the world brightened,
and grew, and split into two worlds, each laughing. And they brightened,
and grew, and split into four. And they brightened and split into eight
and sixteen. And with every split the brightness grew, and pulsed, and
Then one star beyond the edge of it all shone brighter than the rest.
And it moved. Not like a falling star, more like a rocket, or an angel, slow
and steady, full of purpose, aimed and certain. And it smiled as it got
closer - smiling nearer, burning some, lighting up the floor between the
stacks of Renaissance. And then it spoke.
“Hi, Viv.” It was Emily. The fact that a blazing star had just
turned into Emily seemed weird to me only for a second, until I realized
I’d been dreaming. But I hadn’t been asleep, and that made me wonder.
“Viv, are you okay?”
“Oh, yeah, hi, thanks for coming.”
“Well, you sounded pretty upset on the phone. Besides, you
know I haven’t seen you head-on since that day on the bus. The day
you, well, the day we met.”
And it was true. I was upset. And it was true about not seeing her
since the bus, and that threw open the door to the truest thing of all, that
seeing Emily, falling star or not, was like breaking the surface and
breathing after you’d decided to swim the whole length of the pool on the
bottom, forgetting that it gets deeper, and then when you reach the goal
and your strength and air are gone, you remember that you’re still twelve
feet under and start clawing that incredible distance to the sun.
“Emily, do you remember when I called you last week? About
when I went back to the clinic and actually made an appointment for the
‘procedure’? And there was that double-knit lady walking back and forth
outside with a sign that said ‘Abortion is Murder’?”
Emily was quiet and looked at her hands like she was holding
“Yes, I remember.”
“Well, Emily, it’s getting harder, thinking about the appointment. I
wish they’d done it right then, but they do one every twenty minutes, and
it’s still a week before they can fit me in. I don’t believe the lady’s sign,
but it’s getting harder. I’ve got crazy feelings, crazy pictures in my head.
Emily, it’s like on the one hand there’s some kind of ‘murder,’ but
do you know what’s on the other hand? Suicide! Suicide and murder!”
Emily was listening really hard, with deep sadness in her eyes.
“Listen, if this clump of cells turns into a person, my dad’s gonna
know I lied to him by not telling him everything. And it’d kill him. But
how could I? He might believe the double-knit poster lady, no matter how
much he loves me - and he’d tell me to have the baby, and I’d have to.
And that would kill my mom! And it’d kill me to have to live with a
couple of dead people! Emily, how am I gonna keep my house from
turning into Forest Lawn?”
She looked at me for a long time. Looked through me, it seemed.
Her eyes uncovered hidden places in my mind, gently lifted Halloween
masks from the faces of frightened feelings, softly burned away some
fog like morning does.
“Vivian, who dies really?”
I looked at my hands, and she covered them with hers.
I heard a voice behind me and spun in my chair. It was Phil.
What was he doing here? What in the heck was Phil doing in this library
in the middle of summer?
“Oh! Gee. Hi, Viv!”
“Phil! Hey, hi, Phil. Phil, I don’t think you’ve met...” But I
turned, and Emily was gone.
“Viv, How’re ya feeling?”
“Me? Oh, fine. Hey, call me, would ya? I have to go.”
Emily had said, “Who dies?” But Emily, nobody dies, really.
A clump of cells gets removed. How can that be much worse than a
haircut? But it was too late for that kind of talk. The clump had a
I have a friend (who’s name also is Richard, oddly enough,
Richard Ellsworth), who owns a houseful of musical instruments, and he
gives them all names, not like Hohner or Steinway or Fender, but like
Henry and Elaine and Kim. And every time he sells or trades one away,
he’s always careful to let the new owner know what the instrument’s
name is and you have to remember, because every time he asks about it,
he calls it be that name. I thought it was cute, a little bizarre, but cute.
Naming my clump of cells Richard was not cute. It was really dumb
and dangerous. But I didn’t name it Richard - it just came already
named. And the moment you’re dumb enough to call even a wart
Richard, it’ll be that much harder to get it removed. But who ever thinks
of a wart dying?
That night I had the nightmare to end all nightmares.
I woke up, put my hands under my pajamas and held the part of
me where Richard lay.
That morning I called Emily and wanted her to weep. But once
again it was like she was holding back. “That’s good, Viv. I think it’s right.
For you, I mean. Maybe not for everybody. It could be real hard, y’know.
But I’ll be there if you need me.”
I didn’t call Phil, not yet. It would be a big thing for him, maybe too
big. I had to think the whole “Phil” part through again.
And it would take awhile to tell my folks. You remember, I said it
would be something like murder. Well, it still would be.
I did write the scholarship committee, asking them to consider me for
spring semester. That would give me time for, well, for whatever was going
to happen. Somehow I couldn’t imagine the piano department taking kindly
to extended fall “sick leaves” on their dime. Fall was for other things, this
But I didn’t cancel at the clinic. That was five days away. I forgot.
Not all of me forgot. Only part of me forgot. The part that remembered
how hard it was to get an appointment.
It was that way for a whole day - the day I felt I owed myself alone,
turning away from all other faces and shutting out all clamoring questions.
That one day was great. And to magnify the weight of congratulations, I let
myself agree with the double-knit sign lady - got myself thinking that I was
on the only train bound for the only glory there is, and if all the pregnant
people of the world, with their own petty little “special circumstances,”
didn’t get on board quick, they were liable to get run down. It was a pretty
self-righteous little trip - pretty heady, almost breathtaking.
The next day was different. Same friendly grass, same grateful
wind, but I let my dad’s smile get to me. At breakfast (which I skipped
yesterday, saying I had a headache and cramps - haw’s that for improbably
ingenious?), he leaned over the waffles and patted my hand. And I was his
little girl again, four feet tall and flat-chested with blue skies and white
knights spread out before me as far as the eye could see. That was the
first hard moment.
Then later my mom interrupted my practice (which always annoyed
me and which she was usually quite careful not to do), and got all soft
and talcumy and said, “Vivian, dear, your father and I have talked long
into the night about you, and I want you to know again how much we
admire you and to remind you of the dreams we have for you. Vivian, the
future is a clean page now. Let us help you write something beautiful on it.
Oh, and Vivian, this young man Phillip - I suppose your relationship has,
well, cooled somewhat? That is, I haven’t seen much of him lately.
He is a good boy, Vivian. I believe that. I imagine he’s quite...discreet,
don’t you think?” Well, you can imagine the effect that had on me.
Then Phil called. He had the Buick and wanted to know if I’d go
for a ride with him, to get his sax out of the shop. That seemed insensitive.
We hadn’t been in the Buick since we’d been “in the Buick.” But here he
was asking me as though it was a Ford, or even a Volkswagen, which I
wish it had been in the first place. Sure, I’d go with him, but I wouldn’t
tell him about my decision - not in the Buick.
As it was, I never would have a chance to, even if I’d wanted.
The more he talked about college stage band and about how there was
plenty in his college account, even figuring in current “medical expenses,”
and how he could hardly believe how forgiving Ned had been, and on and
on, the more clearly I saw that there wasn’t room in his head for the
slightest consideration that maybe I’d come to feel any different than he
did about our little plan. Freedom to reconsider was out of the question,
since that freedom might put our hands on the door that held out all the
hard choices and heavy burdens of growing up.
You know, walking a two-by-four that spans a mile-deep gorge is
hard. So here’s Phil, pretending with all his might that this board we had
to walk was pegged down safe on the lawn. In fairness, I think some part
of him knew he was pretending. But he pretended so good! Maybe
because I was the one who really had to walk it.
That day became the heavy operations day - hard, scary questions.
Okay, so Richard didn’t have to give his life to save mine. Did that mean
I had to give my life to save his? Did we both lose? Or could we save
each other’s lives? How could we? up to now the questions had all been
from the past and present. Why did we do it? Why did this happen?
Am I a rotten person? Why does Dad love me? Is abortion murder?
What if I got raped? Did I get raped? What if your kids a vegetable?
Is Richard a vegetable? Who thought up this “Richard” idea, anyway?
What if an angel came down and said, “Abort”? Now the questions were
future and harder than ever before. Mainly, am I going to hell? How
fast? How much does hell hurt? Am I already there? Then how come
the grass likes me?
Always there was this grass, this lively, natural, faithful, steady
grass, just bravely growing always as if there were no such things as big
shoes, and dogs, and broken sprinklers. It even sought out the cracks in
the concrete walk and pushed through to the sky. And the grass was my
friend. And all day long I laid by my friend and asked it all the questions
and probably even prayed some, and the grass kept silently silently
growing, and the kind wind blew whispers I couldn’t understand, and
I turned on my stomach and cried.
That night I didn’t dream. I’d been pushed around a lot by dreams
lately, like I was living in them instead of in my life, and as frightening as
they were sometimes, they felt more real than practicing the piano and
worrying. Even Emily had become like a dream. We couldn’t seem to get
together. I couldn’t pull her face in front of mine to ask her how to feel -
not even about Mendelssohn, let alone about Richard. I’d leaned on that
lady a lot (told her things I can’t even tell you), but now she was like a
dream, fading. I looked in the mirror and tried to see her face, tried to feel
her eyes and hear her mouth, but she wasn’t there anymore. I’d called her
number lots of times since I told her about not aborting, but every time I
got this pinch-nosed recording, “I’m sorry, this is not a working number.”
So, without a dream to batter me through the day, I made one up.
I sat on the grass and imagined a lavish concert hall in Paris, and people
were pouring in. There was Phil, sitting on the front row with a huge box
of popcorn in his lap (that was weird but somehow felt right). My mom
was there, full of jewels and talking to the people behind her, pointing
excitedly to the name on the program. My dad was there, sleeping with a
peace as deep as the ocean. There was a tall old man there, too, bright
and pressed, hair plastered down, tapping his toes on the floor like some
people drum with their fingers. Him I didn’t recognize. But he looked
happy- they all looked happy, and that made me glad. All the days of,
What about Phil? and, What about Mom? and, What about Dad and God
and the United States of America? all melted into this moment. What
about them? They were happy - finally happy and all because of...And
then I saw the stage and sitting there at my Bosendorfer like she owned it
was Emily! And I was nowhere! And then the angry question that had
been aching to burst broke out like Mount St. Helens. What about me?
I tore out two handfuls of grass and stomped across the lawn to the back
I yanked it open and threw back my head and yelled with all I had,
What about Meeeeeee?!” But my mom was yelling so loudly herself that
she didn’t hear it at all. “Vivian! Vih-vee-yun! Look! Look at the mail!
Look look look look look!” She had, of course, opened the letter to me
from the scholarship committee.
Full ride. Life in the dorm. A practice room and the works.
But only for Fall Semester! I grabbed the phone and direct-dialed
the number on the letterhead. Mom never looked so puzzled and lost.
“Vivian, that’s long distance!”
“Hi, this is Vivian Wilding ...Yes,...Yes, I just got your letter...Oh,
yes, really -- really pleased... Well, I was wondering if there was any way
I could use it later than Fall?”
(Mom: “Vivian, why later than fall? Vivian, do you know what
Very nice, very polite. Yes, they’d gotten my letter. No, there
wasn’t really any possibility. They had a handful of piano-wizard early-
graduating high school juniors pegged for the winter and spring money.
“Oh, Well, well thank you (I’m clenching the receiver like a club)...
Yes, I’ll write...Yes, Good-bye.”
“Vivian! What is all this about?”
I looked at the clock. It was two. I had an appointment at three.
I left my mom with her mouth hanging open and tore out of the front door
and ran (I wasn’t worried about that now) to the corner. There was a bus
every day at 2:03. There was nobody on the bus. There was no driver
on the bus. There were no windows in the bus. There were no
advertisements in the bus up above where no windows were. There was
just me and the appointment. We got there. I gave sixty cents to nobody
and hit the sidewalk. Through the white birches I didn’t see, through the
tinted glass door that wasn’t there, up to the only other person in the
world who existed - the fat receptionist who would let me into my
appointment. But she didn’t.
“Why, my dear, you’re twenty minutes early. And we’re thirty
minutes behind! As you can see, the waiting room is full. You might
enjoy a short walk in the park across the street.” All this as though
she somehow didn’t know that it wasn’t even there anymore.
But there was nothing I could do. Couldn’t drive the ladies out
of the waiting room, couldn’t clear the patients out of the procedure rooms
like money changers out of the temple, so I went outside. And sure enough,
someone had put the park back where it had always been.
I crossed the street, then into the park, careful to stay on the dirt
paths - didn’t want to feel grass (or wind). I hurried past the slides and
teeter-totters, full of toddlers laughing in the sun. I wanted shade, and
some yards ahead I saw a bench with nobody around, a bench in the
I sat down and closed my eyes against the light - closed them for
maybe three seconds.
I jumped up. There on the bench where I’d been sat Emily.
“Where did you come from? How did you know I was here?
What are you doing here?”
She just looked at me, like she was looking over miles and miles,
or years and years, and yet there was a sadness in her so close I felt it
under my own skin.
“Vivian. I’d hoped it wouldn’t go this far, hoped I could keep it
“Keep what back? C’mon, what’re you talking about?”
“Vivian, you just have to know that whatever I say, the choice is
up to you. It’s your life, your choice.”
“Well, yeah, I know that. And I’ve made it!”
“But, Vivian (and she looked at me as though she was going to
say something I’d never heard before or even imagined), Vivian, what
“You? What about you? So far it’s been, what about everybody
in the doggone phone book, but I never thought it’d get down to, what
about you! Are you my friend or what?”
Here she looked at me full and deep, and all the word games fell
away - all the hints and whispers and thin-veiled dreams.
“Vivian, this isn’t to judge you, but ever since that day on the bus
your eyes have been turned in on yourself. That’s okay. That’s how it
was supposed to be - me for you. But there’s a courtesy that escaped
you, Viv. You never asked who I am and why I have been you friend”
"Who you are Emily?
"yes Vivian, who I am"
"I'm your friend and more Vivian, MUCH MORE.".
"What in the heck is that suppossed to mean?"
"Who are you then?"
“I'm Richard's daughter, Vivian”
“No. Emily, I’m Richard's daughter.”
“ You’re R. Edward Wilding’s daughter Vivian.”
"I'm your baby Richard's daughter."
“But, but...How can that be?”
“Yes, Vivian. It’s all years away.
You’re my grandmother."
And she pulled me to the bench. And she kissed me, and I felt
her forgiveness flow through me like blood. I closed my eyes, and tears
squeezed out over the lashes.
“It’s all years away...
“It’s all years away...
“It’s all years away...”
I looked up, knowing she’d be gone, and she was. And it was a
real heartbreaker, to let go of that sweet dream. But I guess I don't need
her anymore. I know now who I am and don't need to reach into an
imagined future for a better me. Not a perfect me - a badly wounded me,
but a me ready at least to gather the pieces of my life, pieces I’d kicked
apart and stumbled over.
That was about five minutes ago. I don’t know quite how to tell
you what I feel. But I can tell you what I’m going to do. I’m gonna
walk home. I don’t mind telling you I’m scared spitless, ‘cause it might
be a little like walking the plank, and it might be a little like crossing the
plains. But here it goes.
And I’ll tell you something else, and you can be the first to know.And somewhere in all the crazy wonder of Emily’s coming and
I'm not going to have an abortion. ....Just now, when I stood up, I felt a sudden kind of a bump inside, like a toe inside a shoe, or a kitten in a sack - or a baby in a blanket.
going, I imagined hearing a distant voice, though I knew it was years away,
“Oh and Grandmother, Thanks for the Bosendorfer!”
My life will not be complete until a motion picture is made based on the above story. If you would like to help, please let me know. -- Darrell Stoddard,
Email: [email protected]
For more vital information about abortion, see: "The Silent Holocaust"and What you should know about Abortion and Roe vs Wade - article number 21 at: www.healpain.net
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