A Little Story
by Terry Quiring
father to Jacob Calder Quiring
In light of recent posts, I thought I'd like to share a little story.
When my son, Jacob, had been gone about two weeks, my wife and I took our dogs and thought we'd get out. It had been very hot and I thought a trip to the beach might be in order. We carefully chose a place where we could not see or hear anyone else's babies and sat by the lake and played with our dogs.
After a while, I began to get hot so I swam out to a small island in the lake, leaving Janel and the dogs on shore. I sat in the warm afternoon sun, trying to make some sense of all the things that had happened when a man struck up a conversation with me. He asked if I was there with my wife while he complained about his wife and about his three kids and how they never wanted to go with him anywhere. He finally asked me if I had any kids (just as I knew he would) and I told him about Jacob. There was a moment of silence until he said, "How old was he?". I explained to him that Jacob was only five and a half weeks old to which he replied, "It's a good thing you didn't have him long that way you didn't get too attached."
I really didn't know what to say to this guy. I felt like yelling or crying, after all, here I was grieving for the life my son would never have, the laugh I'd never hear, how he'd never feel the warm ground under his feet, the "Daddy" he'd never say and this man just didn't have a clue. Why should this man's children be alive and not my son?
I looked at him and said, "I hope I'll never be able to make that determination. I hope I'll never know it's better to lose a younger child than an older one."
father to Jacob, May 12/97--- June 19/97
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