Wednesday, June 01, 2005

That River in Egypt

Sad and disturbing article up at the LA Times (hat tip to Amy Wellborn).

Some refuse to look. But many hug their dead children. "It was very important to us to be able to hold her, to give her that kind of respect," said Paige, who aborted her daughter at the end of the second trimester. "This was not just a fetus to me. She was my child."

After Susan Crocker's second-trimester abortion in August, she and her fiance spent three hours cradling their daughter, Isabella, who had Down syndrome. They stroked her scrunched red face and kissed her rounded cheeks. They took pictures of her tiny, almost translucent hands, folded across a green-and-pink striped blanket.

Crocker, a 34-year-old customer service manager, keeps Isabella's ashes in a marble urn decorated with dolphins; she kisses it before she goes to bed each night. Her sons follow her lead. On Halloween, they each gave a Tootsie Roll to Isabella. Jordan, 5, shares his toys with her, propping a little plastic skateboard against the urn.

When a doctor once referred to Crocker as a mother of two, Jamie, the 9-year-old, interrupted indignantly: "No, she has three kids."

"Her daughter's in her heart," said Jordan.

Despite her family's support, Crocker, who lives in Texas, has struggled with doubt and depression. "I did the unthinkable," she said. "I ended my baby's life. Sometimes I think, oh God, what if I was wrong?"

What if I was wrong?

This is some of the saddest stuff I've ever read. The big moment of truth from the Times? Look at the URL, the story sits on the server under /health/kids It's not /health/women or something.