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My first little love

by Penny Hollingsworth

Date: Tue, 23 Feb 1999

December 5, 1982 I was living Italy with my husband Archie and my son Greg. Greg and I had only been in country one month. I was still trying to get his sleep pattern the same as ours and not having much luck. I had met one Italian family but not anyone else in our building. I remember that morning asking Archie to check in on Greg as he left to work. Greg had been kicking off his blanket at night, he said he was covered I went back to sleep knowing he would be awake soon. As I lay there dreaming I had a nightmare that I found Greg dead, only to find out when I was jarred a weak by the dream that my dream was true.

As I only know the Italian family n the building I had to run to them for help and trying to explain what was going on was to hard without be able to speak the language, I had to drag the woman down to our apartment and show her. She was the one who contacted the base and got my husband home, but she also contacted an Italian Doctor who came to check on the baby. When our military commander and base medic got to the house they were told that as the child died in our apartment his body had to stay in the apartment for 24 hours before he could be moved (some great Italian Law right?). Not only this but do to the ignorance of some military personnel we were put though OSI questioning. After all this when our base commander was picking up the clothing I wanted sent back to the states with our child's body he didn't pick up socks, (socks; I know that may sound very minor but I wanted him to be dressed completely) so we had to go to the store and try to pick up socks that match his clothing. Then I stood crying in the middle of the Base Exchange because they did not have socks to match. You never really know what will set your heart breaking those first few years.

I managed to get though it all but my husband and I did not make it after our daughter was born he could not handle the possibility of losing her so he left. My daughter is now 14 and I have a wonderful man in my life who I love greatly and we have a 5-year-old son. But I still did a lot of checking into SIDS when I found out my son was on his way to easy my own mind. I run a day care now and babies tend to get spoiled because I hold them a lot when they're sleeping. There are things that make me think I may have failed my son Greg by not doing them but I know that he is watching me still from heaven and know that each time I give his brother or sister a hug or a kiss I also giving one to him because he will always be in my heart and soul.

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