Discard is a word that I don’t often use. I throw things away. I toss things out. Occasionally, I say I dispose of something. But the only time I remember using the word discard was when I would play cards with my parents and discard those suites or numbers or face cards that were of no value to my hand.
So what language do we use when the thing that we are getting rid of – the thing that has no value to us – is a child? Do we throw that child away? Do we toss that child out? Do we dispose of that child?
I have a cousin whose parents divorced when she was very young. No doubt divorced because her father was beating her mother. I suspect my aunt ended her marriage to protect her children. But when my aunt developed a terminal illness and died shortly after her divorce, neither she, nor my family, nor the legal system could protect my cousin and her little sister. My cousins were returned to the custody of their father who abused them horribly for years until the courts could no longer ignore the physical signs of abuse, and they were eventually permanently removed from their father’s home.
That was 40 years ago, but the anguish still exists for my cousin. At this point, it probably will never ease. One thing she does, however, to occupy her time – and probably to occupy her thoughts – is to make fleece blankets for children who are abused, sick, or orphaned. She makes these oh-so-warm blankets for us to bring to foster homes and orphanages in
We delivered some of these blankets to
Although none of the children can communicate with words, an eight-year-old girl in