OVERVIEW OF FIFTH CHILD

We can fool ourselves into thinking that we have our lives well planned out. It was that way for me, being a product of the 1950/60’s: I’d go to college, meet my prince, get married, have children and live happily ever after. As much as I thought I knew what to expect, my life was riddled with surprises. But the last was the most unexpected, compelling me to write Fifth Child, a non-fiction book about the anguish and consequences of a drug-addicted child, which resulted in parenting her child almost since birth.

My husband and I are cast into a shockingly large demographic. Grandparents raising grandchildren is a growing phenomenon in our country because of our shifting economy, unmarried teen mothers, alcohol abuse and illegal drug use. Close to 10 million grandparents comprise the club. We had already raised four children. Jaime was our third child, and Brady is her son, who began calling us Mommy and Daddy when he was three. Readers may be amazed to find calamity overcoming a so seemingly traditional family. But as events and family history unfold, disturbing pitfalls and unfortunate genetic vulnerability reveal fault lines that can sabotage people from any walk of life.

"The Addict's Mom Sharing Without Shame" Video is so important whether addiction has touched your life or not. It's powerful. Please click on the link below to watch the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHNZbbePiKg

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Friday, September 7, 2012

September 6, 1976

Jaime would have turned 36 yesterday. It's always a strange day. I usually think of her in her best light, with a few episodes of her and her addiction trying to creep in. It's daunting, as I try to think back to her childhood and all the dreams a parent has for a child.


What happened to our baby? We named her after my beloved grandmother so that unconditional love would be part of her being. She was swaddled in a pink blanket made by Stu’s mother, to add sweetness and gentility to her life and my mother gave her a huge Raggedy Ann doll for protection. Jaime was the sweetest and most Bohemian of our children. She strived for originality even in elementary school. Her fashion whims would have even impressed her idol, Cindy Lauper, as would her musical talent. We had such hope for our child.
            
At least we have the best of her with us. When I told Brady that it would have been Jaime's birthday, he said we should buy a cupcake and put a candle on it. He's such a little old soul. I then explained the Jewish custom to honor those who've passed; that we light a candle on the day of her death to remember her. He asked what date she died on and I got to share something curious with him, which most likely wouldn't be to a numerologist. Jaime was born on 9-06-76 and died on 6-09-09. It still blows my mind.

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