Neither Stu nor I could believe that we were even in this position; we didn’t smoke, drink or use drugs. This was far from our comfort zone. We spent countless hours re-hashing her life, what we should have done better, what we did wrong and what we should have done differently, all the while blaming each other. This was our child, so it had to be our fault!
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 age thirteen, at her Bat Mitzvah, Stu and I offered her advice: “Consider all that life offers and choose wisely so that you can strengthen the values which define you as an individual. We offer all our love, support and guidance to help you complete the precious collection of ideas and feelings which make you the unique and wonderful person you are.” I missed those days of innocence and hoped she would choose wisely.