Our Lincroft, New Jersey home
“And so they tell their family and friends; there is joy for them and good wishes. Those with screaming brats welcome the soon to be members of their perpetually exhausted club. Her parents look forward to another grandchild; her older sister and brother already have kids.
They invite his father to spend Christmas in their new home. The news of the coming baby, announced over Christmas dinner, makes it his happiest holiday in decades.
Their world grows darker at 2 o’clock on a January, 1973 morning, when their phone rings. Poppa is dead, says his brother, Nick. His father is gone, at 56 years old.”
A son is born, Daniel Jason, on her 28th birthday, June 3rd. He has a perforated colon, quickly lapses into sepsis and dies 9 days later. I never took his picture. I was going to but was afraid the flash would wake him. Tomorrow I thought. There will be plenty of time for pictures.
Our dream gone, she needs to be closer to her family and friends. We leave the dream house for Staten Island and try to begin anew.
We build a new home in Richmond town, one of the tonier areas of the island.
She had left her job to be a stay at home mom, at least for awhile. Slowly in the company of her mom, sister and friends she began to smile again. Getting back to “normal” was what we both wanted though we knew something had changed irrevocably.
And then she said it casually over coffee.
“Honey, can we have another baby?” Gulp.
“Sweetie, I don’t know. I mean, it took us ten years to have the first one! Christ knows how old we will be before a second!”
“Well”, she continued, “the doctor said it was extremely unfortunate about Danny but there seems to be no reason we can’t try again. I would like to try again.” Smile.
“This time we are going to do it scientifically!” She had a thermometer and an ovulation chart. “You darling are going to feel so very used!”.
And less than 2 years later she gave us another son. Michael.
Four days old at home.
On his baptism day in front of our home.
When he still seemed well; but then he stopped smiling,
We didn’t yet know.
After his baptism I went to Rome and Venice on a business trip.
By New Years Eve 1975 we would know. Michael was terminally ill. He was given 2 years to live. He died in my arms 2 months short of his 10th birthday.
He never walked, sat up or said a word. The girl I loved when she was still in high school, took to the prom and for whom I wanted nothing but happiness, cared for him until the day he died.
The couple who had everything in 1973 was in devastation by 1976.