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The "If Only" Game

by Lisa Sculley
mother of Joey 7/16/92 to 10/7/92
Billy 10/14/87
Michael 7/7/89

reprinted with permission

We all play the "if only" game, even if it isn't very fun. My husband regrets that he called me instead of one of my coworkers after he got the call from Rescue. He shudders to think of what could have happened to me on the drive home. I regret not picking my son, Joey, up that morning before we left for work. My husband and I were carpooling that morning (his car was in the shop) and I was on crutches (badly sprained ankle caused by stupidity!). My husband's sister, Doris, was watching Joey at our house that day. When I went into Joey's room to check on him, he was contentedly sucking on his fingers (a recently learned talent), and laying on his tummy (no keeping him on his back or side, he started rolling at 1 1/2 months). Doris was feeding her 28 day younger son, Jonathon, in the living room. Usually, Joey was a very demanding baby in the morning, and would scream horridly until he was fed. He was happy, making those wonderful gurgling and cooing sounds that babies endear people with. Since he did not see me, I let him be. Now I think, "If only I had picked him up that morning ..." well you know the rest. At least I would have gotten to hold him one last time.

We all wish we had one more day, and one last time to hold, feed, love our child. We all have our "if only's". But we did our very best, we loved and cared for our child, and would have done anything we could to protect our children, if only we knew. But we didn't know, and we still don't know, why our child died. And we couldn't have prevented it. If only we could stop saying "if only", we might be able to start living again. Not without missing, and not without pain, but without guilt and regret. For we did love them ......

Thinking of you and wishing you peace,
Lisa Sculley
mother of Joey 7/16/92 to 10/7/92
Billy 10/14/87
Michael 7/7/89

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