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It’s just a few hours — you’ll have a lot of fun and it’ll go by before you know it.” Stella had gone to a small co-op nursery school for the previous two years. As a brand-new 5-year-old, Stella was as brave and trusting of the world — and of us — as we could have hoped. But you can never imagine, until it happens to you, what it’s like to witness your child’s suffering.
Co-op, mind you, means that the parents work at school, so John and I were there a lot. She shared a goodbye kiss with her father that morning believing, on faith, that her time at school would be bookended by another kiss at the end of her day. Late that afternoon, John was taken from work to the emergency room of the hospital across the street. As much pain as I was in, trying to wrap my head and heart around my own loss, nothing will ever compare with the absolute despair of experiencing this tragedy through my daughter’s eyes. John and I had an understanding that he was going to be holding my hand for the next twelve or so years when it came to anything school-related. One week after John died, Stella started back at school.
I remember the little war widows looking at me expectantly. That’s the kind of place I would go when uninterrupted by condolences or tributes or Stella’s innocent but brutally stark questions.
It wasn’t exactly denial or mental illness or some kind of veiled religiosity. The only way I could take a step or a breath, much less go about the business of living, was to cling to the closest recognizable feeling I could handle.
She is best known for her role as Casey Chapel Davenport on the sitcom Wings from 1994 to 1997, and also having played the part of Madison in the television film Splash, Too in 1988 (taking over the role originated by Daryl Hannah in the film Splash).
She has guest starred in various television shows and co-starred in films such as House II: The Second Story, Pretty Woman, Problem Child, Problem Child 2, The Mask, Robin Hood: Men in Tights and Dracula: Dead and Loving It.
We were gathering food for them when one of the girls announced that her husband had gotten killed in Vietnam and wasn’t coming home.