10.2.15

Losing A Child: Taking The Best From The Worst

gjI called her Potinka. It’s a silly name, I know, and I don’t even remember how it came into being. I can only tell you that as time went by, it seemed to perfectly describe this elfin child with a squinty grin and tinkling giggle.

She entered our lives in February 2000; my wife and I lived in Indianapolis then with our son Graig. Roughly nine months earlier, my son and his new girlfriend, Jessica, had gone off to Chicago to celebrate his 22nd birthday, a celebration spent largely–as he later told it–in bed. Just days after returning, they had a terrible fight, the first of far too many. Jessica took off. They made an effort to patch things up via telephone, but each call ended in an angry hang up, and they soon lost touch.

Until one September day when we arrived home to find a note taped to the door. It read: “Graig, you are going to have a daughter. See you in court.” My wife, Kathy, could not let it go at that, and took a personal hand in bringing about a reconciliation between Graig and Jessica. Sure enough, within a month she’d persuaded the two of them to move in together nearby, so they could cultivate some basic sense of partnership before the blessed event. Read the rest of this entry »