Tuesday, January 6, 2009

On Earth As It Is in Heaven

Ten years ago I overheard of a tragedy in Woburn, Massachusetts as my 4 year old son, Micah, underwent spinal chemotherapy for leukemia. Children of this community town were exposed to contaminated groundwater during critical stages of development. Their rare bone marrow cancers would be linked to corporate abuse of the environment. Their story of suffering was shared with the world on the big screen and written about as well by author Jonathan Harr. A Civil Action became a case study in law classes around the country.

But now we have the Clean Everything Acts that insure the environmental health protection of pregnant women and their offspring from chemical stressors. Think again. From the fuel that makes our vehicles go to the drugs that make our pain stop, our love affair is as passionate ever with chemicals. We unleash them because they make our lives for the short term happier, more convenient, and there's good money in progress.

But are they safe?

What doesn't kill us will only make us stronger. Not exactly. What doesn't kill us wreaks havoc on our gene function for generations. So bottom line is, yes, real life exposure to a sea of synthetics is killing us. Survival of the fittest at work? There is no equation where survival is guaranteed when infertility and diminished IQs are factors.

When I discovered that my own son, Micah, had been poisoned the same way as the children of Woburn, I died. My heart broke of despair to learn the antiquated system in A Civil Action was alive and well in Athens, Georgia.

How can a dead mother take care of her sick child?

When a resurrection takes place, there is an unveiling of the truth. Truth shatters fear. It frees a trapped soul bound by evil. It reminds the resurrected and those who witness it that Spirit triumphs over death and disease with love. It fulfills faith and hope. And it reassures that there is a way to accomplish heavenly endeavors while experiencing hell on earth.

I got up, took off my grave clothes, and could do nothing but come forth:

Surely when I shouted from the mountain tops how Micah fell between the cracks, regulatory agencies and public health officials would come running to his rescue.

I reasoned if I called the industries on the phone and asked for an apology, they would give it.

If a defenseless child could be robbed of his constitutional rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of playing, politicians elected by free citizens would rise to the occasion in the halls of justice for him.

All would be made right.


I made trips to Washington to speak to lawmakers. I met with the Governor and First Lady of Georgia. I petitioned the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. I stood up at state public hearings to document on the official record Micah's story.

I asked for justice.

This is about what transpired in those meetings with the powerful, and the untangling of a web of politics that fuels injustice.

I called and wrote to the industry whose billion dollar product flowed into the ditch only feet from the room I slept, studied, and wrote pro-life Republican articles when I was pregnant with Micah. Their poisons seeped into the groundwater from intentional dumping, and their permit to pollute included my indoor air quality.

With bought-off laws that shielded them from proper clean up and accurate reporting, their profits trumped my baby's right to exist.

I asked for an apology.

This is about how industry responded.

I invited those being chemically trespassed against to gather so we could learn together how involuntary exposures could impact our children and for generations rob them of health, wealth, and wisdom.

I asked for their time.

This is about how those families rose up in their communities with knowledge, and granted me the gift of friendship.

I engaged a multitude of lawyers, doctors, and researchers to fit together multiple pieces of a complex puzzle.

This is what the picture looked liked once it was put together.

I asked God to heal a broken me.

This is how He did it. . .