Tragically, we are here yet again…

Planning one’s financial future and retirement can feel a bit daunting. Retirement is a word not easily digested as I have no plans for stopping working. However, wise it may be…

Recently the three phases of retirement planning were explained to me. The Go-Go Years, The Slow-Go Years and the No-Go Years. A Dr Seuss rhyme for aging adults? Trying to remain focused on the numbers while imagining what the upcoming years might look like was sobering. I began to feel claustrophobic as my future physical freedoms seemed potentially at risk…

Freedom is such an exquisitely impactful word. Freedom has played a tremendous role in my life since childhood. The freedom of being outdoors playing. Understanding the cost of freedom from my WWII veteran father. Never taking freedom for granted was instilled in our family daily. My art and writing were founded in the creative liberties of freedom. The significance and the import of being free is laced in my DNA…

I can’t control the future nor the aging process. The decisions of how I navigate my physical future are mine to make. Mine to make. What I do or don’t do with my body is for me to say. For me alone. My body. My decisions…

The early morning sun gave way to the promise of a new day. As I put one foot in front of the other, I made my way up the muddy and spongy dirt road for my daily run. The forceful sound of a river running while tripping over the rocks. Rambling stonewalls. Open fields greening. I adjusted my cadence to the want of my legs. The Vermont landscape was coming to life.

As I was running, I thought about the many years ago when I travelled back and forth to Providence, RI from our home in MA. I would make the weekly trek to work with one of my art school professors and a small group of fellow artists. We met to draw from the figure. Studying human form…

The studio was located not far from the Providence Planned Parenthood. I was often targeted in my blue minivan by a group of pro-life protestors. Harassed by a dedicated group led by a tall, bearded man dressed in the likeness of Jesus carrying a large gold cross. One unfortunate Saturday I was stuck at a traffic light with a car in front of me and more behind. The group of protestors jumped on the front of my van spewing frightening rhetoric all over my windshield. The man dressed like Jesus pressed his face against the glass and was both threatening and terrifying…

What was my crime? I was simply trying to drive to a studio to draw from life, but this mob was determined that I was taking a life. They knew nothing about me nor my circumstances. A generalization. I was a woman of childbearing years. Why else would I be in in this Providence neighborhood just before 8 am on a Saturday if not to be having an abortion? Sadly, it wasn’t the first or last time this intimidating and violent dance occurred. Tragically and unacceptably we are here yet again…

“It is unthinkable to allow complete strangers, whether individually or collectively as state legislators or others in government, to make such personal decisions for someone else.” Sarah Weddington




A graduate of Providence College with a BA in English, Elizabeth Ricketson has always had a love of literature and the fine arts.

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Elizabeth Ricketson

Elizabeth Ricketson

A graduate of Providence College with a BA in English, Elizabeth Ricketson has always had a love of literature and the fine arts.

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