Mary Beth Writes

Regarding Texas: I’m so angry today.

From The Buried: An Archeology of the Egyptian Revolution by Peter Hessler

Hessler is making a case that a significant reason for the failure of Egyptian governments is because citizens are not looking for competent political leaders. They vote for men who lambast the “corruption and immorality” of present leaders. They vote for those who promise a “return to our traditional Islamist values.”

1. At Wheaton College in the early 70’s I was friends with D. She told me that over sophomore Christmas break she had had an abortion. She and her boyfriend had been together for a year. “We never went all the way because we knew we were supposed to wait for marriage.”

But they went pretty far and yes, one can get pregnant if they are unclothed and very, very close.  She said that the abortion is what broke her hymen. 

Abortion was not legal that year, 1972. Her rich, Southern evangelical Christian parents took her to a women’s health clinic in Pennsylvania where abortion was legal and safe.

She and that boy broke up later. He was very celebrated on campus for his good looks and creativity. I remember that.

2. I worked in the credit department at Marshall Field’s in Chicago where I met people who would influence my whole life. L was one of them. She was in her 40’s, had luscious wavy auburn hair, and always wore pretty dresses and low heels. Occasionally we took our coffee break together. One morning we were talking about romance and boyfriends and my life and hers. More about me than her because she was such a good listener. It was easy to make her laugh.

That morning, when I asked why she hadn’t had kids, she said that she had had an illegal 'botched abortion' in her twenties in the 1960’s. She almost bled to death. She went to a hospital where they saved her life but not her uterus. This lovely nurturing women never had children because she hadn’t had access to a safe medical procedure.

3. I have more stories and so do you. Today, in light of Texas’ new, draconian law, many of us are remembering our friends’ stories, our relatives’ stories, and our stories.

Send money to Planned Parenthood or some other pro-women organization. And then take care of yourself.   

 

Comments

Remembering - yes we are. Thanks for writing this.

I support Planned Parenthood, my kids even make donations in my name for Mother’s Day! In 1965 I was 17 years old, my friend aborted herself. Years before she had overheard some women in her backwoods family talking about a “recipe” that would do the deed. She mixed up the stuff, drank it while away from home and after horrible cramps, her “ period” started. Wow, just wow! Other, wealthy girls I knew went out of the country. There will always be abortions, safe is better.
Mary Beth's picture

So many scary stories. So many women twisting their physical and spiritual selves into pretzels just to survive.

I am so heavy hearted. The same people that take away the ability of a woman to get a safe abortion, won't wear a mask (which might possibly save a life) in the name of freedom. ..... Patricia

In light of your post, I have made a donation to Planned Parenthood and Texas Equal Access Fund. Sometimes I just need a reminder. I'm glad there are people around like you to do the reminding.

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"Brotherhood" by Mohamed Mbougar Sarr - A Book Review

10/13/2021

“Brotherhood” by Mohamed Mbougar Sarr is the most compelling novel I’ve read this year. I read the first half as if I was reading a book for the first time; it felt as if the writer was expressing a story so powerful he called it fiction just to get it out, to me, to us. 

I skimmed the second half because I was exhausted by the impossible trauma and decisions the characters would need to endure and try to survive.

Let me say right here than many will survive. Not all.

Thanks & Now Let's Do Pups!

10/13/2021

 Thank You!

I sent our collated list of “Ways to Help My Community” to the Third Graders this morning.  Laura has already shared it with them; I just received this from one kid. This was really cool and helpful thank you for coming back to me so quickly well you always respond quickly like all the time and also I like hiring (hearing) from you always make me smile from writing to pictures I love them all.”

3rd graders on Community Building

10/12/2021

... 

I’m just back from volunteering in the third grade.  I’ve done this for five years; Laura Zahn who is this class’s teacher, plus her friend and fellow teacher Mara, have become among my favorite people in Waukesha. 

My Relationship with a Door 10/5/2021

Dear Friends,

I seem to be out of Deep Thoughts lately. Not sure if this is apparent to you but it is to me. This is not exactly a problem but keeps me guessing what in the world I should be writing. Or - since “should” is a sometimes toxic and generally unhelpful word – these days I am not sure what you want to read and I want to write.

So maybe I’ll just write you a quick Dear Friends. Sometimes relationships are just about checking in.

Up North 9/30/2021

Here’s why I’ve not posted anything in nearly two weeks.

Last week Len and I took a trip to Duluth, MN and Ashland, WI. We hiked seven hikes, met new friends, ate too much. (We didn’t eat IN restaurants. We ate take-out dinners while sitting in our car overlooking Chequamegon Bay.) We marinated in the breezy Up North rhythms of woods, streams, rivers, and Lake Superior. 

Then we came home to all that stuff one does up returning; laundry, groceries, and bringing in the Big Dozers to deal with cat litter boxes. 

Cabeza de Vaca & Company: A 500-Year Old Story for Our Time.

I’ve been thinking about Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca for years and I’ve also been thinking about him for a week.

It’s crazy out there in the world right now and people are, I think, kinda sick of each other. Racism, sexism, and classism are the muck we walk through to get to our cars while our climate is turning into flying monkeys. And the rich keep getting richer.

So let me tell you about a guy I admire.

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