Monday, September 8, 2014

Mary Catherine

She would have been eighteen.  She might have been starting her first days of grade twelve or even beginning the first of four years of university.

The world should have been hers to conquer.

Instead she died the day she was born.  She didn't die because of any inborn error or birth trauma.  She died because her mother chose to leave her in a carport at strangers house on a cold rainy day instead of what would be sure to be a safe place.  The carport was not a safe place as unbeknownst to this mother the family did not characteristically use that door.  Baby was found after she passed.

I'm sure their are many many reasons why this mother did what she did but they are ones that she will likely take to her grave.  I wonder about her a lot.  Is she still living?  Is she productive?  Is she educated?  Did she go on to have more children?  Then I wonder what would happen to her if her identity was found.  We can assume there would be a list of charges against her the biggest being the child's death.  Depending on the life she is living now would it serve anyone to incarcerate her removing her from might be a life of contribution?  What if she is someone not living up to her potential perhaps acting as a detriment to society?  Would we be more likely to incarcerate her then?

What remains in the end is that this little person was cheated out of any kind of life.  She however was not born in vain and without leaving a dramatic mark on society.   She forever lives on in my heart.  I think of her as Mary Catherine, the name I tried to give her in my attempt to assume legal guardianship of her remains eighteen years ago.  Unfortunately you cannot adopt or take legal guardianship of a person who did not exist.....  No live birth record.....she did not exist.

Mary Catherine left this world to forever to be labelled....Baby Jane Doe.

She has a legacy though, my teeny little Mary Catherine.  She taught me what to do when other babies follow her.  Because of her I know who to contact to get ensure that there is a public funeral, a proper burial and a marked grave in a specific part of the cemetery.  I have had to put these skills to work a few more times but as many times in these situations family is eventually found leaving my services unnecessary as the baby then has family.  Baby John Doe sleeps in a cemetery north of us in the province....or Michael as I have named him.  His story a little more tragic as he was put in a dumpster.

It is my belief when these babies are abandoned like this they belong to the village.  WE are the village and it is up to us to claim them, provide for them, mourn for them and remember them.

Happy Birthday Mary Catherine!  September 7, 1996

Share some of your heavenly birthday with Ailish and Michael too.  Kisses to all of you

1 comment:

Richelle said...

How extremely kind of you to take this little babe under your wing and provide a respectful memorial for her. There are few people that would go to such lengths. God bless you and may little Mary Catherine rest in peace!