If anything good has come from the death of Terri Schiavo, it's that more of us are making living wills. I would hope that everyone would do so. I hate to think that in the future, a spouse or any person will abuse another person to the point that they end up in the hospital and because they didn't have a living will, their fate is left up to the abuser and they suffer the way Terri did.

Don't be someone who doesn't speak out!
First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

Pastor Martin Niemöller
Born December 3, 1963, Theresa Marie Schindler was named after Saint Theresa of Avila. Theresa grew up in Pennsylvania as the eldest of three children. Terri, as she was called, was described as the shy girl who never wanted to be in the spotlight. With a love of animals she had a need to care for any and all lost animals that she knew about.

Terri attended and graduated from a Catholic school and it wasn't until her teen years that she finally came out of her shell. Though she could be naive at times, she had a laugh that was contagious and a smile that never stopped shining for those around her. 

In 1982, while attending college, Terri met Michael Schiavo and after a short time, the couple became engaged. On November 10, 1984, the couple married and eventually moved to Florida. Terri worked as an insurance claims clerk and Michael worked as a restaurant manager. Terri's parents moved to Florida a short time later.

On February 25, 1990, at about 5:30am, Terri collapsed in the hallway of the apartment she and Michael lived in. While Terri lay on the floor, suffering from a lack of oxygen, Michael called her parents before calling 911. Terri was in a coma for about two and a half months and when she did come out of the coma, she had suffered brain damage.

Doctors were not in agreement on the extent of damage done to Terri's brain. Terri was given some  rehabilitation and therapy and some doctors said that if this continued she would improve. Other doctors said it was hopeless. Terri's family didn't listen to them. Michael Schiavo stated several times to several people that he and Terri had never had a discussion about what she would have wanted in this type
of situation. Michael stated they were both young and had never had a discussion about this type of thing.

A lawsuit was filed on behalf of Terri, by her husband which claimed that doctors had failed to diagnose her correctly. Michael Schiavo stated that he needed money to take care of Terri for the rest of her life, even stating that she could live another 50 years or more. Shortly after winning the lawsuit, which was said to have been $1,000,000,000., and receiving money for himself and for Terri, Michael Schiavo decided to stop all rehabilitation and therapy of any kind for Terri. Since the court had appointed Michael as Terri's legal guardian, there wasn't much anyone could do.

Terri's progress was halted and she was eventually put on a feeding tube and no longer fed from a spoon. It wasn't long before Michael Schiavo had moved on, he had a new girlfriend and eventually would have two children by her. Instead of doing the right thing, turning Terri's care and guardianship over to her family, he refused to give up control over her, even to the extent of banning family and friends from seeing her and not even allowing so much as a washcloth to be placed in her palm in order to stop her hands from curling up. Terri's only form of anything even closely related to life support was a feeding tube. She was not on any machines to help her breathe or any machines which were meant to keep her alive by an artificial means. Terri's was responding to family members, doctors and staff at the hospice where she was living.

Seven years passed by and Michael Schiavo "suddenly" had a memory of Terri having said she would not want to live in this condition. He petitioned the courts to have her feeding tube removed, the same tube be put in. Telling the courts that Terri and he had talked about this and Terri had said she wouldn't like to live that way, Michael was successful, on two occasions, in getting the feeding tube taken out. The tube was put back in when Terri's family went to court over it.

Michael Schiavo never gave up the fight, never stopped saying that it was Terri's wish not to live this way. Terri's family never gave up their fight to save their daughter and sister. 

Many motions were filed in an attempt to save her life. A subpoena for Terri to appear before the Senate in Washington was sent out. 

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist had this to say:

"While discussions over possible legislative remedies continue, the Senate and the House
are taking action to keep her alive in the interim." 

In that same statement Frist said the subpoena would provide legal protections for Terri Schiavo.

"Federal criminal law protects witnesses called before official Congressional committee
 proceedings from anyone who may obstruct or impede a witness’ attendance or testimony,"

he said in the statement. "More specifically, the law protects a witness from anyone who --
by threats, force, or by any threatening letter or communication --influences, obstructs,
or impedes an inquiry or investigation by Congress. Anyone who violates this 
law is
subject to criminal fines and imprisonment."

This subpoena was ignored by Judge Greer, who, over the telephone ordered the feeding tube removed. In spite of the continued fight to save her life, Terri's feeding tube which was her only source of nutrition and hydration was removed on March 18, 2005. On March 31, 2005, at about 9:05am, as a result of being denied nutrition and hydration for 13 days, Theresa Marie Schindler/Schiavo died.

We may never know the entire full and true story of what brought Terri to be in the condition she ended up in for that 15 years of her life. One thing is painfully obvious, Terri Schiavo was wronged by the courts and the man who had promised to take care of her for the rest of her life.

Terri is no longer in pain, she's no longer suffering. Terri is with her maker, whole once again. Forever young and forever beautiful. Loved and missed by many, even those who never met her. Unlike Michael Schiavo who is hated by many, loved by few and will never be able to stand before God and justify what he did to Terri. What I would say to him is that God knows his heart and God knows what he did, he can't fool God like he did many people. God help him and all of the people who helped him to kill his wife. Maybe they will be forgiven, I believe they have to ask God to forgive them and truly be sorry for that they did. I don't believe that Michael Schiavo even knows what it means to be sorry for what he did. We can only hope that his new wife was smart enough to get an advanced directive made up and smart enough to make her wishes known to anyone who would listen. I do have to wonder though, since she is with him after KNOWING what he was doing and what he did, to Terri.

If you have any information you would like to add or find that something I have said above is not correct or if you have a picture of Terri or her family that I do not have in the slide show above, please let me know.

When You Come Back Down

You got to leave me now, you got to go alone
You got to chase a ream, one that's all your own
Before it slips away.
When you're flyin' high, take my heart along
I'll be the harmony to every lonely song
That you learn to play

When you're soarin' through the air 
I'll be your solid ground 
Take every chance you dare 
I'll still be there 
When you come back down 
When you come back down
I'll keep lookin' up, awaitin' your return 
My greatest fear will be that you will crash and burn 
And I won't feel your fire 
I'll be the other hand that always holds the line 
Connectin' in between your sweet heart and mine 
I'm strung out on that wire 
And I'll be on the other end, To hear you when you call 
Angel, you were born to fly, If you get too high 
I'll catch you when you fall 
I'll catch you when you fall 
Your memory's the sunshine every new day brings 
I know the sky is calling 
Angel, let me help you with your wings 
When you're soarin' through the air 
I'll be your solid ground 
Take every chance you dare
I'll still be there 
When you come back down 
Take every chance you dare, 
I'll still be there 
When you come back down
When you come back down
Sung By: Nickle Creek

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