The night I met Cade I never would’ve thought that two years later,
after we were homeless street musicians in Hawaii, we would have a
little girl and another baby on the way. Our son was born with the
type of birth defects that make televangelists cringe. As his health
waned, my own breath evaded me, like I was the one who needed the
ventilator—the life support. The “death home” gave him a really nice
funeral, the kind I’d never wished to attend. When they tried closing
his casket, I nearly fell on my face, not wanting them to shut the lid
on my baby.
We lost it after that, totally cemented in our grief. Cade got into
drugs, joined a rock and roll band, and even grew out his damn hair.
At the time, I was sick of “the oatmeal option” (the only food we
had), so I kicked Cade out of the house, and started modeling and
working as a diesel mechanic. That was how I met: Earl (an old man
and unlikely best friend), the “big sag” (a middle aged woman who
still flashed folks), Todda (the stripper next door), and Chris (a
cowboy who fell in love with me).
It was slow at first, but Cade reverted back to the man I’d busked
with years before. It wasn’t until I killed a rogue skunk, and my
daughter nearly choked on a fry, that I gave my husband another
chance. But could our marriage recover from the death of our son?
180 babies are born every minute and 1.8 of them are born with
defects. A vast number of people can relate to my story but
regardless of that fact, everyone has experienced grief, everyone has