John Edwards' mistrial may seem a bit off topic but there is that baby, Quinn, who looms behind it all. And that kid--conceived out of marriage, conceived in "sin"--grabs at my heart. No baby, no problem this size of this doozy that has been in the national spotlight for months. And while you may disparage John Edwards, I found reason to feel good about the statement he made yesterday to the press after the mistrial was announced. As The New York Times put it:
"And to the surprise of many, he expressed his love for the daughter he had with Ms. [Rielle] Hunter, 'my precious Quinn,' whom 'I love more than any of you could ever imagine.'"
Well, damn. Good for you, John Edwards. You didn't forget her in this most public of moments.
I have been more interested than most in the vicissitudes of this story as, in my day, I could be compared to Rielle in the broadest of ways: I was the younger woman who had an affair with a married man I worked alongside, and "got caught," in the language of the times back then.
But of course we didn't have the press following us around, wanting pictures, and the shame was more enormous than anyone who didn't live in that era can imagine. Hiding was all. Jane's previous post about the Crittenton homes is a stark reminder.
Presidential candidates are supposed to be morally clean. but nothing is worse than to actually produce evidence--such as a child, not just a blue dress--of sexual congress, two words that I like to use together because they sound so friggen serious. A child is the sine qua non of supposedly unforgivable sexual encounter outside the bounds of marriage. The enormity of the Edwards' scandal showed that on one level, public opinion hasn't changed all that much since the Sixties here in the U.S. of A. Produce a kid with a married man, and you are a harlot, the kid an "innocent victim."
|My beautiful daughter, Jane|
I had loved my daughter's father, and thought well of him despite everything--the times were different then for men too, divorce was unheard of in his very Irish and very Catholic family, he was under tremendous pressure to walk away from me and try to rebuild his marriage--yet I could not despise him. Years later, after I reunited with our daughter, I tried to arrange a meeting, and later, she tried. He couldn't handle meeting Jane "at this time," et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. That's when I lost respect for him, all those years later, when he kept putting off meeting our daughter. Then I totally gave up on him as a man of character. He didn't deny she was his, though out of the blue he did float the question to me one day when we seemed to be planning a lunch for the three of us. DNA testing was in its infancy at the time, and I suggested it. We did not do the testing, he never met Jane, and one day quite suddenly he died. She was in her twenties. Jane later said, "...all I wanted was a lousy lunch...."
So to read that Edwards publicly acknowledged his love for Quinn affected me. Despite the rest of the story, despite what you think of him, Edwards did what my daughter's father did not have the courage to do. Thanks, John Edwards, for not forgetting your "love child" Quinn yesterday. --lorraine
Birthmark is the harrowing story of my downfall in 1965, and the surrender of my daughter the following year. Of the 1979 book, the first birth mother memoir, Library Journal said: "She [Dusky] describes this experiences with such openness and raw emotion, without polemics or self-conscious feminist attitudes, that the impact of the book is overwhelming." If you are tempted, please order it by clicking on the image here. It will take you to Amazon. Thank you.
My shoulder and bicep continue to be a problem, and I am writing less rather than more for the time being. I did all the exercises I was supposed to--and I had been remiss--but apparently I did more than I should have and once again set back recovery. Using a keyboard for any length of time is not good, and so look for fewer posts for the time being. And it's summer, right?
One final note: an incomplete version of this blog was posted accidentally an hour ago. That's gone. Please excuse the glitch. I'll blame it on my arm.