By Dr. Jim Ferguson


Old photographs convince me that the love and joy for my two girls was comparable to what I currently feel for my grandchildren. I’m thankful that I have these pictures to help me recall memories which have faded over three decades. These days people use the cameras in smart phones to record memories. This new technology is great because I always have a camera in my pocket instead of running to find one and miss the moment.

Taking pictures of yourself is now referred to as a selfie. I suspect the term will be added to Webster’s dictionary at the next edition. The downside of this new technology is losing your smart phone or having your computer crash and losing a lifetime of memories. On the other hand, old photographs can be lost in your attic!

Maybe it’s best to store memories in your mind and reinforce them with regular review. My wife, Becky, is much better with memories than I. However, I can remember vast amounts of arcane medical issues and know all the words in a three inch thick medical dictionary. Like Mary in Luke’s Gospel, Becky has obviously “chosen what is best.”  Jesus warned about storing up treasures on earth that thieves can steal or rust can ruin. Billy Graham once wished he had memorized more scripture so that when he was too old to read or hear well, he could replay those nuggets in the mind.

Little girls are special – Maurice Chevalier said so in his 1958 recording. If you’re too young to remember this Lerner and Loewe classic from the film Gigi, Google it and enjoy. How tragic that female infanticide is still practiced in Asian and other cultures. Josie is our four and a half months old Gerber Baby and she is beautiful. Most of us remember baby food packed in iconic small jars rather than the pouches used today which perhaps evolved from the food packets of astronauts.

I don’t remember spending time gazing into my daughters’ eyes as I do Josie’s when I feed her a bottle. Yes, we moderns still use bottles, though the formula/water mixture is dispensed at the perfect temperature from a Mister Coffee like machine at the push of a button. I modified the old classic Daisy Bell for Josie:

♪Josie, Josie, I’m in love with you. I’m half-crazy all for the love of you. When I look in your eyes my heart melts, my love for you is heartfelt. And you so charm within my arms with a bottle made for you. ♪

My rendition is not perfect like Josie’s angelic face, but neither was the Computer HAL 9000’s version of this song in 2001 Space Odyssey, the earliest song sung using computer speech synthesis!

Actually, I see all babies as beautiful and wonders of creation. I believe not just “Black lives matter,” but all lives matter. Unfortunately, the debate about the sanctity of life, when life begins and rights are protected has been high jacked by the abortion cabal. Since 1973 abortion has been legal in America, but that doesn’t make it right, despite what Obama, Hillary Clinton and Planned Parenthood say. There is much talk these days about the evolution of artificial intelligence, though to date no human has created even a microbe of life. And yet we destroy human life daily by redefining a baby as a fetus without rights, and then harvest the body parts suitable for sale. This is ghoulish, sick and Nazi-like.

Recently, I went to a medical seminar and heard a lecture on child abuse. You might find it strange that an internist and geriatrician would attend a lecture on this topic, but you should never say no to learning. I was introduced to the “fetal abstinence syndrome,” and what a terrible problem this is in Tennessee. The lecturer gave statistics that Knox County has more pain clinics than any other in Tennessee. We must have a lot of pain in America because 95% of the hydrocodone in the world is used in the United States. And as a result the Mexican drug cartels do a thriving business.

If a mother, ah, excuse me, “a woman carrying a fetus” uses drugs during her pregnancy the baby will be born addicted to the drug and suffer drug withdrawal syndrome. This often manifests as babies who are “inconsolable.” Anyone who has cared for an infant has experienced the inability to console a child. It’s a big deal. Infants can’t tell you what’s wrong and can only cry or wail. I’ve experienced my children and grandchildren when temporarily inconsolable through sickness or hunger, but imagine being unable to console a baby for weeks or months as they withdraw from drugs acquired from their mother. Heroine withdrawal is known on the street as “the bends,” and is manifested as sweating, nausea, blood pressure instability and severe abdominal cramps. Cocaine use depletes the neurotransmitters of the brain and nervous system, and prolonged periods of depression occur with abstinence. Imagine these withdrawal symptoms in a child.

Tennessee has 1000 cases of neonatal abstinence syndrome every year and each case costs on average $65,000 to care for these addicted babies through the immediate phases of hospital drug withdrawal. Furthermore, babies with this syndrome have a high frequency of neglect and abuse after discharge from the hospital, and often end up on the Department of Human Services roles or under State care. I can see why abuse occurs when a child is inconsolable and a parent is imbalanced or alone.

Drugs are but one manifestation of our devolving culture. Furthermore, the “wickedness and depravity of the pop culture” is one of the principle reasons that radical Islam justifies its war on western culture. As I’ve quoted before, “The absence of religion produces a moral vacuum.” Some argue against the lessons of creation, history and convention. However, children need caring parents and boundaries if they are to grow up and have a chance of success. This can’t occur with drugs, sex and amorality.

I didn’t make the rules for raising kids or a prosperous life, but I recognize they exist, despite what the Miley Cyruses of the world say. Like abortion on demand, alternative life style choices can never be normal, they ultimately lead to destruction and are pitiable.