My Child Is Missing a Third Time
by John Edward Gill
Margie stayed with her mother for just five months in Washington, D.C., before moving in with friends.
My daughter has worked in the White House as an intern in Media Affairs, for a United States Senator, for a private Congressional information service, and now for an entertainment company in New York City. She lives in Brooklyn.
She has a website on the Internet and I have her work address and home address. I send cards every few months and e-mail her.
Estelle still lives in Washington, so I'm glad Margie is away from her. It's hard for a girl to grow up knowing her mother doesn't care, so I've learned to be patient, calling her one day at work recently and just telling her I loved her, even though we spoke for only a few minutes.
When she was ten-years-old, she lost one of her best friends, a girl named Janie, who was the same age. Janie just told Margie one day that they could no longer be friends, without giving reasons. Margie and Janie had known each other since they were three-years-old. For two years after that Margie would always tell me that if Janie ever needed a friend, Margie would be there for her. "If Janie ever wants to call me and be friends again, she can do that," Margie said one day in the car.
I'm sure that gracious spirit of hers will return and we'll be close again.
I can't help remembering how Estelle had wanted Margie adopted by that family in Fargo during those cold days in January 1973. Yet I'd never discussed Fargo until that phone conversation with Margie when finding her now in Washington, D. C. And I'd always told her Estelle loved her and was a good person. I haven't gotten her a stepmother and feel guilty about that. But one therapist I visited when Margie left said it didn't matter. She knew she had a real mother and Estelle never came around.
I'm proud and happy that she's independent, since I'd always told her to become whatever she wanted, pursue any career that she chose. Coolness she has for me temporarily now doesn't erase the joy I had in raising her. Being her full-time father was a blessing, the most fulfilling experience of my life, and certainly the most rewarding.
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