Sunday, March 23, 2008
Knowing What We've Missed
This handsome young man with that "deer in the headlights" look in his eyes is my only grandson, KC. He is in Iraq where this picture was taken, working as a transportation specialist and, unfortunately, is a target since he is responsible for moving combat vehicles from Kuwait into Bagdad.
I met him for the first time in 1993 after his mother and I reunited. He was 13, then, and covered with freckles that would eventually fade but are a family trait. It was hard to get close to KC. He had the same confused loyalties with which his mother was struggling, was dealing with his parent's divorce as well, but he was willing to give it a go. His younger sister was only 7 at the time and she jumped right in there.
But he didn't stay aloof for long. He knew that I loved him and he eventually became more comfortable with me and he has married and given me a precious great-grandson and another great-grand, gender unknown, is on the way.
I look at his face and I can see a slight resemblance to his father, but I see so much of my family, his mom, both my maternal and paternal families and a whole lot of his maternal grandfather who was also a bit baby-faced. (From what I saw 13 years ago, The last time I saw my daughter's father, he probably still is a baby-faced old jerk.) What I see the most, though, is just KC, my grandson, a good man who is facing a terrible ordeal in a country where we shouldn't be sacrificing our soldiers.
I keep telling him to watch his back and keep his head low and know how much he is loved and I think about missing out on his birth and his first 13 years because of the heinous act of adoption. He is now 26 years old and I don't want to miss any more. I want to send him many more birthday cards signed, "Love, Nanny and Papa Darrell." I want him to be around when his new baby is born. I want him to be Papa to his son's and "?'s" children and I want him to be proud of the family from which he came and to learn more about us all.
I just want him home, alive, whole and happy. Is that too much to ask, God/dess? Am I being greedy and selfish that I don't want my only grandson to be killed or mangled in a war that should never have started? Isn't it wrong that we should have someone we love placed in imminent danger for the sake of barrels of oil and a dynasty's self-justification?
I prayed to you when my daughter was born, begging you to help me keep her, and the answer seemed to be "no." I realize that, at that time, the machinations of others sort of overrode your decision to make me this young man's grandmother. But, can I ask one more favor? Will you please keep him alive and safe until he comes back to his home and his family? I'd be more grateful than words can say. And be with him, please. Hold his hand and send our hugs because he is smart enough to be very afraid.
I hate adoption, and I hate war, every bit as much.