Lately, I have developed this habit of blocking out the news. My mom will generally make sure I’m informed of the most grisly things that happen, particularly to infants and children — not sure why, but she does that. The news is constantly on in my house, because Steve is constantly researching for his writing. But I manage to put it out of my head, not to hear it, or not to let it sink into that part of my brain that forces me to think about it. So I have not been following the story of Cindy Sheehan very closely.
I got my People Magazine yesterday, and they did a story on Sheehan. I had heard of her, and I knew what she was doing. I felt bad for her, because I cannot imagine losing one of my children. What I didn’t know, what I learned from the article is that Sheehan has other children. In what basically amounts to her war protest, it would seem she has basically neglected her surviving family. Her husband divorced her. Other family members are speaking out. Her sister-in-law Cherie Quarterolo said Sheehan was “promoting her own personal agenda at the expense of Casey’s good name.” Her ex-husband, Patrick, said, “My kids and I feel like we’ve had two losses: Casey, and now our wife and mother. The kids are angry and lonely for her.” Her son Andy said, “I think she should come home.” Patrick adds, “I don’t think she’s done the best for the family.”
Yet in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Sheehan maintains her children are “supportive. They understand what I’m trying to do.” Frankly, no matter how you feel about the war or George W. or any of it, I think it is inexusable to abandon your family and your life. I hope Cindy Sheehan has carefully weighed the risk of losing what remains of her family in order to take a stand against the war. While I can’t imagine how I would feel if my own son died, I also can’t imagine I’d abandon my husband and other children in order to prove a point.