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A Deathbed Epiphany ~ BENEATH THE SURFACE with PAUL MURANO

By: Paul Murano – July, 2018

Recently a 62 year old woman was lying on her deathbed, at home, after doctors had given her weeks to live. We’ll call her Emily. She had lived a full life but cancer had gotten best of her in recent months. On one of her last days, Emily’s children and grandchildren came to visit her to look over old pictures. It proved to be a touching evening, celebrating her life through pictures.

They began with recent pictures of Emily and then went backwards in time for each decade of her life. In the most recent decade they saw pictures of Emily holding two of her newborn grandchildren. Upon entering the 21st century there were pictures of Emily and her husband, Bob, on various vacations – the Bahamas, a cruise to the Jamaica, and their trip to Europe. The 1990s had pictures of Emily raising her children. There was one of her singing Happy Birthday to her oldest son Matthew who had turned 12. Another had her holding her youngest daughter Megan when she was two. Emily looked youthful in these pictures, but tired. The 1980s portrayed Emily’s wedding pictures. She was much thinner then, and looked stunning in her gown. The pictures from the 1970s showed her as a cheerleader, playing softball, and graduating high school. Emily laughed from her bed at the styles of dress and hair she allowed herself to have. Yet, in spite of this, one could find glimpses of her daughters and grandchildren in her face. It made the family smile as they passed around the images.

Pictures from the 1960s revealed Emily as a teenager. She described these pictures as her awkward stage. Another image showed Emily in a white dress and white hat. She was 7 years old and it was her First Communion. There were also pictures of Emily as a toddler, a baby, and one immediately after she was born, held by her exhausted mother. Then they found one more set of interesting pictures.

After her children and grandchildren enjoyed seeing Emily as a grandmother, mother, bride, teenager, child, and baby, they then turned to her pictures in utero. Ultrasound sonography, very popular in the late 70s and beyond, was actually invented in 1956. Emily was one of the nation’s first babies to have had her picture taken with it. One picture was Emily one month before she was born. Although a bit grainy, her mouth looked open as if she was in the middle of a yawn. A couple months before that a picture was taken of her at 6 months post-conception. She seemed to be sucking her thumb. The picture before that was Emily three months post-conception. Her organs were developing and Emily seemed to have a good amount of room to move around within her mother’s womb. Ida, her mother, had passed away a few years earlier, but was fondly remembered in these pictures. This was the first picture ever taken of Emily. She was tiny, but visible.

This was a memorable night for Emily and her family. The pictures showed Emily lived a full life, from her conception to this very night, as she rested with her family knowing her death was approaching.

That night, however, something hit her like a ton of bricks. Emily realized that if her life had not been protected by law at its most vulnerable stage – the first several months in her mother’s womb – her last 62 years may never have happened.

If Emily had been terminated around the time any of these early pictures of her were taken, she would not have been here tonight celebrating her life with her family. In fact, her daughters Kathy and Cindy never would have existed, nor would her sons Peter and Jeremy. Her grandchildren, sitting there with her never would have come into existence. Her husband Bob would have had a totally different life, and all the countless people Emily touched – as a nurse for 25 years, a soccer mom and member of the PTA, as a sister, neighbor, and friend helping people through very difficult times – all of this never would have happened had Emily been one of the nameless victims of abortion, now in the tens of millions.

Although a self-proclaimed feminist for much of her life and a big believer of women’s rights, that night, on her deathbed in the company of her husband, children, and grandchildren, Emily silently became pro-life. The blinders came off and for the first time she was able to see the bigger picture. Being close to death opened Emily’s heart to understanding life.

Pictures tell a story; they do not lie. It is beyond sad how many people today still deny the humanity of people like Emily in their humble beginnings. Emily was lucky she was born in 1956.

Yet, one-third of all children after 1973 never left their mother’s womb alive. As she lay there in bed with her family by her side, Emily felt profound gratitude for this moment. Yet, this gratitude was dampened by profound sadness beyond words for moments like this that have been lost to so many others due to legal abortion.

(Names and details of this story were fiction.)

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A bad girl
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A bad girl
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cookbook
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fitness
health
magazine
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Street fashion
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Big data
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fitness
lifestyle
Small tools
The recipe
A bad girl
appetite
attitude
movies
rendezvous
sex
toys
catering
health
outdoors
Reduce weight
science
stretch
training
business
cookbook
fashion
fitness
health
magazine
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Street fashion
travel
art
fashion
health
music
photography
sports
The recipe
tourism
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Fitness equipment
fitness
nutrition
Nutritious food
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video
Yoga
Classic cars
evaluation
technique
transact
Classic cars
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transact
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Fashion show
Female models
fitness
health
lifestyle
Small tools
The recipe
travel
animation
car
games
Motor car
movies
music
news
Science and technology
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catering
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Lose weight
outdoors
Reduce weight
science
stretch
training
A bad girl
appetite
attitude
movies
rendezvous
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toys
business
fashion
fitness
health
lifestyle
news
Small tools
Street fashion
The recipe
travel
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industry
invest
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Fitness equipment
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nutrition
Nutritious food
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health
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The recipe
tourism
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invest
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Real estate
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animation
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Science and technology
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cookbook
fashion
fitness
health
magazine
news
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Street fashion
travel
Big data
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Fashion show
fitness
health
lifestyle
Small tools
The recipe
A bad girl
appetite
attitude
movies
rendezvous
sex
toys
catering
health
outdoors
Reduce weight
science
stretch
training
business
cookbook
fashion
fitness
health
magazine
news
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Street fashion
travel
Fitness equipment
fitness
nutrition
Nutritious food
routine
training
video
Yoga
art
fashion
health
music
photography
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The recipe
tourism
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industry
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Real estate
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movies
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Science and technology
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cookbook
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fitness
health
magazine
news
sports
Street fashion
travel
Big data
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Fashion show
fitness
health
lifestyle
Small tools
The recipe
A bad girl
appetite
attitude
movies
rendezvous
sex
toys
catering
health
outdoors
Reduce weight
science
stretch
training
business
cookbook
fashion
fitness
health
magazine
news
sports
Street fashion
travel
art
fashion
health
music
photography
sports
The recipe
tourism
travel
Fitness equipment
fitness
nutrition
Nutritious food
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Yoga
Classic cars
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Classic cars
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Paul Murano

Paul Murano

Dr. Paul Murano teaches philosophy at Rivier University and North Shore Community College and hosts Beneath the Surface radio show on 980 WCAP. Paul has a doctorate in marital theology, is certified in bioethics by the NCBC, and teaches adult ed. at St. Patrick's in Nashua. He is founder of Heartbeat Pregnancy Help in Burlington, and is a singer-songwriter-musician. E-mail Paul at PJDM@aol.com

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