I only met Bob Schindler Sr. twice. He could not have been nicer.
The first time was at a conference where I turned up determined to help out against the unspeakable evil of euthanasia and assisted suicide.
I was there because, like many of us, I had watched Bob’s beloved daughter, Terri, starved and dehydrated to death at the behest of a black-robed executioner, Florida’s Judge Greer.
After checking in, I walked around the hotel to see if there was anyone I knew. Of course, I recognized Bob Sr. as he left the building for a few minutes of quiet outside. I was compelled to follow him, and, in some small, very innocuous way, to express my condolences.
His face was weary, lined, tired. His shoulders slouched.
A heartbroken man.
I offered my deep condolences, and the reassurance that Terri didn’t die in vain.
He was most gracious and appreciative.
As I left him, I could not help but wonder whether my empathy was a curse or blessing.
Terri was murdered. Legally.
What else is there to say??
The next time I saw Bob was at another convention. As these things go, he, along with Mary, his devoted wife, was minding a table in memory of Terri.
As before, I expressed my feelings. Again, a warm graciousness, appreciation, and caring.
I’ve since come to know Bobby and Suzanne, two of the most ardent defenders of humanity that you will ever find.
I am blessed with two beautiful children, and three grandchildren. Often as I play with them, laugh at their wonderment in the world, and shake my head indulgently at childhood, I can’t but help think of Terri and the dreams destroyed.
Mr. Schindler, thank you for defending your family to the last moment.
Never, ever, think you were ineffective.
While the hooded black capes crumble to dust, your Terri, and your fatherly love for her, will not crumble.
Indeed, they will go from strength to strength, because, in the end, earthly death has no sting, paltry earthly graves no victory.