Archive for March, 2005

Impossible Choice

Posted: March 24, 2005 in Everything

Would you like to know the definition of an impossible choice? Here it is: Terri Schiavo!

I’m a husband and a father and I am deeply torn at every sight of Terri Sciavo. As a husband, I cannot imagine that my wife would want to suffer for over 15 years like this 41-year old woman. At the same time, as a father, I cannot fathom the difficulty of watching my daughter be starved and dehydrated to death. Who can make such decisions? Aren’t these questions beyond our ability to weigh?

Terri’s case is even more complex than most, because the information about her husband, Mike, is so conflicting.

There is suspicion that Mike had something to do with Terri’s condition in the first place. Terri’s parents claim domestic abuse was involved. Apparently, Mike went to great lengths to secure funds for Terri’s care saying that he would be true to his marriage vows and care for her in their home. According to Terri’s brother, as soon as Mike got the money he began his fight to have Terri’s feeding tube removed. Terri’s brother also claims that Mike has had several affairs, and been engaged at least once. What is undisputed is that Mike now lives with a common-law wife and has a family.

In addition, there has always been medical debate about whether Terri is truly in a Persistent Vegetative State (PVS). Some medical professionals say she is, others say she is not. What’s more, a nurse that cared for Terri immediately after the incident said she showed signs of abuse and her system did not release the enzymes typical of someone who had had a heart-attack. And, perhaps worst for the family, Mike Sciavo has reportedly not allowed his wife to receive Holy Communion–a rite of her Catholic faith!

On the other hand, just a look at Terri is more than enough for most people to know that they would choose not to live that way. Plus, are the suspicions of the parents enough to paint Mike Sciavo with a Scott Peterson colored brush? Early care-takers who were close to the situation said that Mike Schiavo was with his wife everyday for years. She never had any bed sores, which means she was being well taken care of. In addition, Mike took Terri from Florida to California for experimental treatment. In fact, Mike was so adamant about his wife’s care that many hospital personnel once believed that they would have to pursue legal action against him because of his persistent demands.

Who knows what is best in a case this complex? I don’t.

Here’s what I do know. As a husband, I would want my wife to enter peace and wholeness with our Father. I also know that if she could enjoy the life of our daughter–even just a little–she would want to live. I know I love my daughter, and I simply could not watch someone I didn’t trust have her starved to death.

Through this whole debate I’ve learned some things that I would like to share with you.
1. Get a Living Will…(Save your family the heartache, pain, and expense of having to guess what you want).
2. Raise Your Children to Marry the Kind of People That You Can Trust…(Of course, this is ultimately their decision, but who your kids marry is tremendously important. They may have to make life and death decisions about your child or you!).
3. Live Life Now…(Terri Schiavo was 26 years-old when she entered a Persistent Vegetative State. 26! Do you think you can wait to live your adventure and explore your dreams).
4. This World is Not Our Home…
…In the last few days I’ve heard Christian people talk about this case from myriad perspectives. Some say let her live, others say let her go. The ultimate thing to remember is that this world is not where we are intended to be. I spoke with one of my church’s elders this morning and he reminded me of something that our church’s previous preaching minister once said at a funeral: “We are not in the land of the living heading for the land of the dying, we are in the land of the dying, heading to the land of the living.”

Day Away!

Posted: March 18, 2005 in Everything

Today is my day off! I don’t always take it, but I needed to do some work on a paper concerning the history and propriety of adolescent and pedo-baptism. I thought today was going to be a great time to get some stuff done. I was wrong! Even though I’ve read an entire book today, I picked the wrong day to be home.

The reasons:

1. NCAA Basketball Tournament (More people call-in work sick today than any other day of the year–including people who work Thanksgiving and Christmas).
2. Congressional hearings on steroids in baseball. By the way, here’s my Mark McGwire impersonation: “Uh, er, um, I’m not here to talk about the past.” Can you imagine Michael Jackson or Scott Peterson saying that?
Prosecutor: “Mr. Peterson, did you kill your wife and unborn son?”
Scott: “Uh, er, um, I’m not here to talk about the past.”
3. PGA Bay Hill Invitational (It was rained out, but pictures of a golf course are always soothing to my soul.)
4. Finally, I experienced car trouble this afternoon. I’ve gotta figure out something to do with my dying eight year-old car. Any of you got $20,000 so I can get an upgrade?

How was your day?

P.S. I–in a pathetic moment of hubris– searched “Sean Palmer” on Yahoo!. This page came up #14. Yahoo! list sites by reference (Sean Palmer) and popularity. A few months ago I was #85. Now I’m 14.

I want to thank you all for your frequent stops by. Soon I will return to some more overtly “spiritual” material in this space in the hopes that your life will be blessed. I will try to honor your time with thought-provoking, life-affirming material. I’m humbled that people make “The Palmer Perspective” a stop in their web surfing day.

But if I ever become prideful for becoming the 14th most popular “Sean Palmer” on the web, you can remind me that my preaching hero, Mike Cope, is the #1 Mike Cope on the web.

Spring Season

Posted: March 3, 2005 in Everything

Now that my mother-in-law has braved breast cancer surgery and survived with flying colors, it’s time to get down to business: baseball!

All Major league teams have reported to either Florida or Arizona for spring training. You baseball fans out there will agree with me that the excitement is starting to build as you hear daily reports from your team. But before we get too head-over-heels in love with the coming season, we need to take a look at the past.

Yesterday, the Major League Baseball Players Veteran’s Committee vote ZERO players into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

ZERO! NONE! NO, NOT ONE!

Can you believe this? There are three players who have won multiple “Most Valuable Player” awards in the history of baseball who are NOT in the Hall of Fame: Pete Rose, Roger Maris, and Dale Murphy. Rose isn’t eligible because he was a cheater. But Maris’ single season home run record (*61) stood for over three decades and the guys who broke it were juiced on steroids when they did it. Dale Murphy–as I wrote in this space over a year ago–is still not been allowed access to the Hall, and it is a great injustice.

Just check out the numbers:
18 Seasons
.265 Career Batting Average
398 Career Home Runs
2111 Hits
1266 Runs Batted In
.273 Career Post-Season Average
1982 and 1983 National League Most Valuable Player

But the numbers aren’t the whole story. The Hall of Fame is about what players do on the field for sure, but it is also about the players’ impact on society and the game. The truth is that if Dale Murphy were allowed into the Hall of Fame, he would have some of the less impressive numbers of the group. It’s true that other players with similar numbers like Ron Santo and Joe Carter aren’t in the Hall either.

But the numbers don’t consider the effect.

I remember a second grader in 1982 who loved playing and watching baseball because he wanted to be just like Dale Murphy. He wore his socks like him, and wanted to wear his number (3). He tried to imitate his swing and his jog from the dugout to the field. That same boy was so excited on a family trip to Atlanta that he made his parents drive him to Fulton County Stadium two hours before the game so he could see Dale Murphy take batting practice. When that family moved to Atlanta, the boy asked his parents to stop taking him to Braves’ games because every time they went the Braves would lose–and he didn’t want that for Dale. When that second grader was in 9th grade, he cried when the Braves traded Dale Murphy to Philadelphia–he just couldn’t imagine Murphy in another uniform. And that second grader turned 9th grader turned college freshman couldn’t quite understand why the Colorado Rockies would release Dale Murphy in 1993.

Most people won’t believe this, but in the life of Dale Murphy, one little boy learned about life. He learned that you can hit a lot of home runs, but because you’re a home run hitter it also means that you’ll strike out a lot too. Either way you’re still the best hope for your team. He learned that if you work hard and play by the rules the game will reward you–but nothing last forever. He learned that humility is an under-appreciated virtue, but a desperately needed one. Most importantly, he learned that in life you should swing for the fences in order to bring people home.

So, if you know anyone who has voting priviledges for the Hall of Fame, tell them to do Dale, me and the world a favor: Put Murphy in the Hall!