Oma Sue's Blog
Hi – I’m Sue Reyzlik. I recently realized my life-long dream of building a writing hut in the backyard. The writing hut serves as a creative space and home office for Oma Publishing. This blog will be intermingled with family history, varied experiences and insights on being a Grandma (Oma), creating my special backyard space, as well as, my “retirement” career as a self-publisher of children’s stories. And perhaps a little bit on the 32 years I served as Executive Director for Keep Fremont Beautiful and the wonderful people who are sharing this adventure.
I have this thing I did when I was working… when I started brainstorming… I would have to get up and start moving around the office while wildly throwing out ideas – well maybe not so much like throwing out ideas as throwing up a rambling heap of word vomit… (Uh - nice visual)
Cathi would watch me as I moved around the room, dutifully taking notes and smiling, sometimes laughing or maybe she was cringing… I flailed my arms and exaggerated my steps, punctuating a thought with a little jump, followed by long strides and sudden stops and silences… When I was reasoning through some part of the job – writing a grant – figuring out an education program – putting together a response to a community complaint… I would go on these theatrical romps.
I didn’t do this all the time… only if I had an audience. Suffice it to say, very few people had the opportunity to witness my thought process antics, as I worked alone for many years – so maybe it was just Randy and Cathi who had the privilege to view me in my full-on animated glory…
Anyway – on Tuesday, I was particularly stressed. My thought processes were backing up on me and I wasn’t sure how to handle all the arguments bouncing around in my head. Sara (my oldest daughter) was coming for the day to continue the spring-cleaning purge – it’s an annual thing that spans many weeks. Tuesday was like day 3 or 4 in this year’s liquidation cycle and the split-second Sara opened the door, all good intentions of spring cleaning escaped the building… and just like that, I launched into what I consider to be a sensible, rather impressive Supreme Court of The United States free-associating rant.
You see… I am upset about the Supreme Court. I am upset at the prospect of Roe Vs. Wade being overthrown. I’m frustrated and I’m angry. And yes, I have been meditating but I think I needed to rant to truly get all those negative thoughts out of my system…
I fully recognize that I am a work in process maybe even a little progress… not totally detached, but aware enough to know that detachment is one of my personal issues that stands between me and calm – maintaining a state of “calm”, maintaining a state of detachment is off somewhere in the distance. I keep heading towards “it” but “it” is aways away!
So back to the rant… Just steps into the kitchen, Sara realized that this was different. Mom (speaking of myself in the third person) was seething. She put down her purse, grabbed her water bottle and sat down at the dining room table… she chose the seat closest to the east windows. It was like she had a premonition that she had to sit there to get the best view of the upcoming spectacle.
The pacing area for the rant was limited by the layout of my house but due to the recent wall removal and remodeling of the kitchen, I was able to move freely from the kitchen, through the dining room, around the living room and back again. The route was replicated numerous times during the rant and my whirling choreography visible to Sara for the entire performance. Good seat Sara!
Honestly, I can’t remember the exact wording of the harangue, but I think we can all be fairly certain it was laced with profanity from beginning to end. In the safety of my own home… I let it all hang out as I stomped, twisted, turned, pounded my fist and shouted out my list of grievances against the politization of the court, the corruption of the court and the overall lack of ethics and oversight of the court.
I explained to Sara what the leaked document contained and how it impacted all women – I explained that I wasn’t concerned for me, at this time in my life, but I was most assuredly concerned for the safety and health of the younger girls and women in our family and our nation – I told her that I was scared and I was angry. I brought up the rage I feel towards McConnell, Trump, Evangelicals, Republicans, Religious Fanatics, and even friends and family who do not support a woman’s right to choose – I was basically totally rat shit pissed at the current state of reproductive rights destruction.
As I was winding down the masterfully delivered and genuinely inspired bombast, I succinctly pronounced to my audience of one… “it is time for me to go to Washington and demonstrate. It is time for me to go get arrested for defending the rights of women.” I paused – waiting for her reaction, nothing… deer in the headlights… When I asked if she was in… she burst into laughter… she wasn’t sure she had time to get arrested in Washington. Fair enough. I sat down, joining her at the dining room table…
Calmer… not calm-calm… but somewhat calmer, I gazed into Sara’s eyes and my mind drifted back to March of 1981 and the emergency room in Omaha. I began to relive those details of that fateful night… how I had almost died when I was seven months pregnant with Evan. I remembered how difficult it was for me – even faced with my own death, to make the decision to end the pregnancy. It was a decision that I made in consultation with my doctor and other health professionals gathered in the examining room. Realizing that this pregnancy was out of my control, I submitted to God and asked him to handle it for me.
I stared off into space as I explained to Sara that if this leaked SCOTUS document becomes the final judgement of the court, then that would mean that women, like me in 1981, facing imminent death, would have no choice… they would not be allowed to end their pregnancy. The decision would no longer be up to her and her doctor. Her and her God. Women would have no right to privacy. Every woman dying from health complications caused by the pregnancy, every woman with internal bleeding and organs shutting down, would be forced to stay pregnant and die.
Again, I looked deeply into Sara’s soul and told her how much I would have missed seeing her grow up. How much I would have missed knowing Evan and seeing him survive and thrive. How fortunate I felt to have endured, and survived that horrible health crisis. I survived, because it was my choice. Me having the right to end that pregnancy had given me and my baby life.
I recalled the moment, when I woke up in the recovery room and learned that the baby was a boy and he had survived. He had come out and pissed all over the doctors and nurses assembled to save his life – they had laughed in relief that his plumbing was working. Evan had been whisked away to Children’s Hospital (which was 40 some blocks away in those days) and I was relieved he was getting the excellent care that only they could provide. I recalled how I thanked God for taking care of everything!
I reminded Sara, as I so often do, of that life altering moment while in intensive care, when I left my body. I was free of the pain – it was a glorious feeling. I described how effortlessly I moved through the darkness and towards the light. I recalled how the light was communicating with me in a telepathic method… there were no words… just an understanding. I wanted desperately to go into the light but the light thwarted my efforts to enter. The light was in control – I had given control of my life to the light and this was a not so gentle reminder to get my shit together and go back.
I have told this story of my experience with the light many times. It doesn’t vary in the telling – at least I don’t think it does. The light made it clear that I was not entering and if I had to put the telepathic message in words, it would be this… “I never said it was going to be easy. You have everything you need, inside you, to get through anything… now you need to go back.”
That type A personality thing I have going on, on the earthly plane, is a problem…it seems that personality can travel without a body – funny thing. Anyway - I tried one more time to work my way into the light… the light pulsated and grew from a circle to a cone – the force of the energy grew - it was immense, I was being put in my place… and then the light imploded into itself and boom - nothing... sending me violently back into my body and all my worldly pain and problems.
I explained to Sara how my experience with the light has guided me through so many hardships and losses. Life sucks! But I am comforted by the fact that the light is in control. The light gave me the strength to finally rid myself of her father and ultimately finding my way to Randy. I explained how trusting God and ending that pregnancy had enhanced our lives for the better. How ending that pregnancy had eventually led Randy and I to adding a precious little girl to our family through adoption. It was a tender moment… but just for a moment…
The calm had passed… I took my place on stage for Act II… it was a forceful performance, reiterating my stand on safe and legal abortion… (I must admit I was pretty shouty – projecting to those in the balcony, no doubt) “CARRYING A BABY TO TERM, OR ENDING ANY PREGNANCY AT ANYTIME, MUST ALWAYS REMAIN THE CHOICE OF THE WOMAN. A CHOICE MADE BETWEEN A WOMAN AND HER GOD. THE CHOICE MUST NEVER BE MADE BY SOME DOUCHEBAG OFFICIALS IN WASHINGTON D.C. IF AN ELEVEN YEAR OLD GIRL IS RAPED AND AS A RESULT OF THAT CRIME, BECOMES PREGNANT, SHE MUST NEVER BE FORCED TO COMPLETE THAT PREGNANCY – A PREGNANCY THAT COULD KILL HER – THAT IS BULLSHIT!
With that, I made a one-eighty, heading for the living room to begin another series of laps and rants… when to my surprise and de-LIGHT… (see what I did there - de-LIGHT... funny huh?) I spied with my little eye, the banner at the bottom of the television screen… it read… “WOMEN MOBILIZE TO PROTEST DRAFT RULING – WASHINGTON D.C.” I quick grabbed the remote and unmuted the audio… Groups across the United States were mobilizing to protest – Groups were mobilizing to determine best strategies to fight this ruling – Groups were mobilizing to get the votes out – Groups were mobilizing to protect the Right to Privacy… A great weight had been lifted from my shoulders.
I wasn’t alone… there are younger, more capable women who can wage this battle – it’s time to pass the torch. I mean... I still have everything inside of me to get through anything, but so do they, and it is their turn to shine the light!
My relationship with pregnancy was not an easy one. Some women can get pregnant and pop out a baby and barely notice. All my pregnancies were celebrated! The loss of the first baby was devastating - I mourned that loss. I had a rare health condition and I needed time to heal. I was eventually able to conceive a second child and she was a biggie - I didn’t think I could ever do that again. But I did, and that third baby almost killed me. The doctors advised against trying that again... I heeded their advice and the fourth child was a gift from a selfless woman who made our family complete.
I will be forever grateful that I had a right to privacy and was able to choose to end my pregnancy with Evan so we both had a chance to live. Women in that health crisis today would be denied the right to end the pregnancy… and that is religious tyranny.
On the other side of the Abortion Issue, I will be forever grateful that Deb chose to carry her baby to term and that she chose to give Randy and I the most precious gift we ever received! Those were the private choices made during our reproductive years, and I am so happy we had the opportunity to make those choices for ourselves.
We can't go back. Women have the right to control their bodies and their health. If anyone asks for my opinion on what they should do when faced with an unplanned pregnancy, I will explain their options - all of their options, to the best of my ability. And then I will make sure that she knows that the choice is hers.
NOTE: Talked to my Doctor and he thinks going to Washington D.C. to get arrested is a bad idea. Evidently talking about Roe Vs. Wade raises my blood pressure... So anyway, he cautioned that if I thought I could fit in a trip and an arrest around blood tests, Dermatology visits, the new diet, new medication, new exercise regime… then maybe… but he’d rather I didn’t. OK – fine! I am happy that there are groups mobilizing to fight this Draft document… soooooo I “choose” to stay home and work on my health and staying calm. But just so you know – it is my choice. And FYI - I sure as hell won't vote for anyone who doesn't support a woman's right to choose - a woman's right to life.
I have a ton more pictures but here is a sampling of what I would have missed if the Supreme Court has their way...