Sometimes things happen to people and it’s all I can do to hold my tongue and not just spill out my entire belief system on them. You know, pull them aside and just really give them a talking to about the way things are. I realize, however, that other people might not be interested in my entire belief system, so I keep it to myself. Here, however, on my blog, I will say my two cents.

I believe that every life has value. All of them. Lives barely lived and those that flourish. I cannot begin to fathom why some lives are so very short, but I do believe in their value.

This is not about abortion–that is far too big and complex an issue for this little space. Rather, this is about lives that are not seen. Children who don’t live long enough or people whose value is harder to see.

These lives matter too.

Somewhere on the net–some public forum where the truly ignorant people give their opinion on things barely related to the topic–I saw someone write, “People should contribute and sitting in a chair and drooling isn’t contributing.” She was arguing against life-saving blood transfusions although what that was to do with the disabled, I’m not sure.

I’m going to go ahead and say that I don’t particularly think of drooling as a contribution. I don’t think leaving hateful messages on the Internet is much of a contribution either.

But someone who is sitting in a chair drooling might still be contributing. They might be helping someone realize their life isn’t so bad–providing some perspective. They might be a much-needed, constant companion. They might be a brilliant author. They might be helping to stretch the boundaries of modern technology. They might be an inspiration when they smile.
There’s just no way to know what sort of lasting legacy a person is creating.

I feel the same way about little souls who leave us too soon.

I know this one from personal experience. I still think about the little girl who passed away while Charlie was still in the hospital. She touched me. Her life was valuable to me. Is there any doubt that others felt the same way?

On the Internet and in real life I hear women recount stories of miscarriage and what I always take away from them is this: that life mattered to that woman. Maybe no one else could see it, maybe it was fleeting, but that life was important and someone will never be the same because of it. How could you measure the impact of that?

This is not meant to be a political statement. I’m not trying to be controversial or take on big issues like “choice.” This is just me–one person–saying that while accomplishment may be the yard stick for many things, I don’t think it’s a good one for this. Each life leaves an imprint on this world and it’s not for us to judge the importance of it.
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  1. Janis @ Sneak Peek At Me says:

    Bravo! That is all.

  2. Amy Genn says:

    How do you always know exactly how I feel…..but I just don't know how to say it??? :)

    Great post!

    Mom to a sitting drooler,

  3. Hey, don't those people know that sitting in itself is a big accomplishment to some (me included)! 😉

    Great post, as always, Katy.

  4. Well said Katy! Some people really could use a good talking-to.

  5. What an absolutely offensive (and dumb) thing to say. From a mom of another kid who drools—and who contributes a whole lot to this world.

    When Max was born (and I'll tell this story here because now my my mother in law reads my blog, annoyingly enough), she was looking at him in the ICU and she said, "MY children were never that way."

    Now you know why I don't think all that highly of her.

  6. Katy,
    Thank you.
    You know that this is what I think all the time.
    And you brought me back in touch with what the last 21 years have been like.

    I am so glad that I can call you my friend.

  7. Wonderful post… you are a brilliant writer!!!

    Cute pics of your little guy, too!

  8. That is a great post. I can't say anything else about it, but great.

  9. Lovely post. Thank you.

  10. A beautiful, beautiful post.

  11. Well said, Katy!

    It's a shame that some don't see and understand the lessons that some lives are here to teach. They are really missing out, arn't they?

  12. She just has no clue! Mike, and I knew there was something wrong with Jude before we had him. We just didn't know the impact. We were told it could be Dyslexia to profound issues. So we took our chances, because he deserved a chance.

  13. The only point that person proved was their ignorance, lack of life experience, and lack of empathy.

  14. beautifully said.

  15. Small Town Girl says:

    Amen! We were all put here for a reason and only ONE knows what that reason is/was.

  16. Thank you, Katy. My due dates for my last two miscarriages are approaching soon- the fourteenth and fifteenth- and even though I am pregnant and hopefully past miscarriage danger, I still feel grief to think of the child I was supposed to be preparing to deliver soon. I still wonder what gender it was, what it would've been like. It was still my baby, too.

  17. Nadine Hightower says:

    Amen Sister!

    Charlie is gaining weight!

  18. Kristine says:

    Knowing that it's just pure ignorance and lack of empathy should help…but doesn't. I HATE it when I hear about comments like this. Makes my blood boil.

  19. Cristin says:

    Yikes. You made me cry woman!

    During our 8 weeks in the ICU, many babies passed away. I still remember their names and think about them often… and send out little vibes into the Universe about them, that they were here, and they mattered.


  20. Cristin says:

    Oh, and the woman who left that comment is a complete ass hat.

  21. ferfischer says:

    That is just a horrible way to look at life – that contributions have to be traditional. My child has made a great contribution to the world already, and she's only two. She's taught other people so many things that can't be taught without experience and compassion. What a dolt.

  22. A friend of mine just interviewed me for (the article should be published any day now). And I said a lot of what you said….every life is precious.

    Also, Donald and I were watching the History channel a week or so ago and there was old footage of George Bernard Shaw saying that he believed that there should be a system in order where every 5 or 7 years people had to go in front of panel and justify their existance. And if they weren't contributing to society than they would be done away with. It made me sick to think that people really have those thoughts. Sick, sick, sick.

    You on the other hand, have it all right. Thanks for sharing :)

  23. I agree totally. Thanks for putting it into words so eloquently.

  24. Every child teaches us in terms of just living and adapting, and showing us that expectations can almost always be exceeded, as well as in terms of science. Look at the advancements that have been made for kids with challenges in the last, oh, fifty years. Drugs, therapies, corrective devices …hell, Botox alone–that stuff of vanity–is a frigging miracle worker. So many little trailblazers had to go through the often painful trial-and-error, the success and failure, to bring these improvements to the medical mainstream.

    Hey Ellen, I would have told that cowbitch of a MIL of yours, "Well, guess what, you vicious old biddy–you've got a GRANDCHILD who is 'that way' and who is LOVED. Maybe you should take a lesson, you miserable turd?"

    Of course, I never learned how to hold my tongue when I get truly pissed off. That woman would get my full measure if she ever said anything like that to me…you have my sympathies!!! Too bad you couldn't block the woman and tell her you stopped blogging because you're busy with other stuff!

  25. I never said anything that nasty about anyone (who didn't deserve it from choices/behavior rather than being who they are – I am indeed capable of critcism of those who deserve it!) but I have definitely learned from first the small preemie baby and second the metabolic disorder/CP baby. I know that I would never have known some things I now know because of becoming a special needs mom. I agree with Mo and Candace, those folks may not learn until they feel the pain themselves. So I do feel a little bit sorry for those who don't yet get it, that Charlie or any of our kids are people of value, because those ignorant people are missing out some joy that the rest of us get to have.

    WTF, how did you do that Katy, make me act all big hearted sympathetic to asshats and stuff?!? Hey!

  26. blogzilly says:

    Shocking how stupid people can actually be…the Internet allows too many of them to find a voice.

  27. "Each life leaves an imprint on this world and it's not for us to judge the importance of it."
    This is so beautiful!

    Very deep post …glad you put it into words.

  28. I love your post. I have also often thought about the value of a life. You raise many fabulous points. Thank you.