Courtney's storyEvery life has a purpose and a meaning. We hear this warm and heartfelt comment when we talk about the youth, about those who have opportunities ahead of them, of those who exude hope.
But this same society will also tell us that handicapped children, the elderly, and others with a so-called diminished “quality” of life do not enjoy the same quality of life that the majority have and therefore are not lives worth living.
Many years ago, a governor from Colorado said that old people should just act like the leaves of a tree and just fall off and die. In Oregon euthanasia has taken hold rendering the elderly ands depressed in grave harm.
I could go on, but lest one lose all hope and decide to disappear, allow me to tall you a story of love, compassion and generosity.
Some years ago a mother gave birth to twins. One has born healthy, the other with serious health problems. After the doctors delivered the babies, the parents faced some serious challenges. When she became old enough to attend school, the neighborhood school did not want her. You see Courtney could not talk. She would never be able to talk. Another school in a poor section of town was happy to admit her. She went to that school for eight (8) years and touched so many hearts. But that is only half the story,
In asking what she could do to help the kindergarten class, Courtney’s mom learned that many of the children went home hungry after their half day at school. One of Courtney’s sisters began making a lunch for one of the other students. Soon they learned that the child was bringing the lunch home to her family to share. As Christmas approached the mother thought that she would give one particular family a real joyful Christmas. Soon the idea mushroomed and 50 families were ‘adopted’ by the mom ands her friends who provided toys and clothes and food to these needy families. A local Catholic parish became involved and the number of families enjoying the “gift’ of Christmas grew.
Courtney eventually “graduated’ from the elementary school after those eight years. The school held a ceremony and then had to hold another so that everyone in the school could join in the festivities. While Courtney’s dad stood in the back watching with tears in his eyes, he noticed a tall six-foot 15-year-old young man joining the choir as they sang and signed one of her favorite songs. “Who are you?” he asked. The young man replied. “I went to kindergarten with Courtney.”
Perhaps we will never know the full impact of the life of this extraordinary human being. I suppose that is not really the issue. But in an age that would promote abortion for the seriously handicapped, the idea that the rejection by a school of a little retarded kindergarten girl would lead to a program that would help thousands of families and allow thousands others to be generous with their time, talent, and treasure, is very special and hopeful.
For those of us in the pro-life movement, the story of Courtney is an example of the mystery of God’s love and His grace. It is a reminder to all of us why we must never give up, why every day we must recommit ourselves to the cause of life. It is a further reminder why we must vote into office only those who will respect the right to life of the unborn.
So remember how special we all are and the very unique calling we all have.