The hardest thing

What is the hardest thing you have ever had to do ?

For me it was my first time on jury duty when we had to send a kid (17) to prison, for armed robbery. The law demanded between
15 years and life.

There were people who wanted life for this kid, there were people who wanted 15 years.
We wound up agreeing to 40 years.

To have to sit in that courtroom and look at his Mother while the jury was poled one by one, and answering yes, that was our sentance
was horrible.

I was sick to my stomach for awhile over that one.

Ayesha - Lioness

There are two solutions to every problem : the wrong one, and mine
(Thomas A. Edison)

How often is “life” really life in prison?

Me too, Ayesha. I was a lone holdout on a burglary case. Seemed to me all the evidence the cops had was (1) the guy was seen in the neighborhood, and (2) his shoe print was close to the shoe print on the busted door. Oh, and he was black.

Didn’t seem like they’d proved guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and I turned a half-day trial into a two-day one by not voting guilty right off the bat, but I caved at the end.

Felt absolutely awful. Would have felt bad even if I was sure he’d been guilty. I don’t like having that kind of power over someone.

Which also means I really don’t understand all those folks who “volunteer” to pull the switch or knot the rope for death row inmates.

The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do was give my firstborn child up for adoption. It was the right thing to do, but I cannot adequately explain just how difficult it is to go into a hospital full-term pregnant, go through labor and delivery, and come out with no baby.

My daughter is eleven years old now. Thank the deities we have an open adoption. I still see her, and she knows just who I am. She will not have to go through a long, agonizing search for me. If she has a question, she can call me, write me, email me, or come to my house. She knows her biological history. She has met her great-great grandmother. She has a close relationship with my parents, her birthfather, and his family too.

Our situation is working well. But it took awhile for me to get through the pain, and start moving on. I was a mess for a long time, even though I knew my daughter was safe and happy. But thanks to a terrific counselor, and an unbelieveably supportive family, I came out pretty okay.


My wife was adopted. She’s 34 now. She’s still depressed every birthday. It’s really tough for her. You don’t say how old your daughter is. Who initiated first contact? I would like my wife to attempt to contact her birth parents, but she’s just too scared. It’s a catch-22 with her. She can’t figure out why her ‘mother’ didn’t want her, but she’s too afraid to try to find out why. The story she’s been told by her parents is that the mother was very young and unmarried at the time.

I admire you for making such a strong decision. That must have been very difficult.


Enright: my daughter is eleven years old. The adoption has been open since she was born. :slight_smile:

The odds are high that your wife’s brthmother was, in fact, young and unmarried. Adoption was pretty much what young, unmarried women did until pretty recently.

Okay, end of hijack! Enright, feel free to email me about adoption or searching ( or anything else…I like email) anytime! :slight_smile:

The hardest thing for me was to take care of my parents when they were dying…watching two people you love so much fade away is heartwrenching, but in the end it makes you that much stronger to deal with other disappointments in your life.

I am me… accept it or not.

Tell my wife that I was leaving.

Yer pal,

There was no question in our minds that this kid did it, it was more a case of, ok he did it but life in prison ? I mean really, he was 17. And with the new law that was passed here, since he used a gun he still has to do 20 of the 40 years.

I don’t know, that jury was a mess by the time we finished ! There were 10 women , and 2 men on it , all but about 3 people were parents.

That was a very loving thing to do. I know it must have killed you emotionally. I have known several teens who have gotten pregnant
and kept the babies, because they want someone to love them, not love the babies, but the mom’s. I am so glad that it all seems to have worked out.

I do understand about going in after 8 & 1/2 months (for me) , going through labor and delivery for nothing tho, Lion and I had a little girl who was still-born. ( Yes, she’s draging out another sad picture of her life. ).

I am so sorry about that. But you are right, we do tend to grow in times of pain. ( So why aren’t I 6 foot tall yet ? :wink: )

I wish your wife luck with her search !

onsidering what I have heard about Texas prisons, I think one day would feel like life to me.

Ayesha - Lioness

There are two solutions to every problem : the wrong one, and mine
(Thomas A. Edison)

Ayesha: That iswhat it’s like. It really is.

Sue: We had to go through that too, with my father-in-law. We didn’t have to do much of the caretaking, but what we did was so hard. It was hard to see Tim’s dad, who had been so hale & hearty all his life not be able to do anything for himself.

Gramps was tougher than my mom’s porkchops, grew up in a rough part of Boston and didn’t take guff from nobody. His idea of a good time was poking me in the back, hard, with his cane. He brawled with gangsters and hoodlums, lost most of his teeth when he got a foot in the mouth during a football game. His entire family had died on him before he was 25 and he survived a natural gas explosion that left him with a twisted arm and leg and a half-dollar sized hole in his skull that he used to let his grandkids poke. “Come feel the hole in my head,” he’d cackle.

One day my grandma died and Gramps fell apart. The hardest thing I ever had to do was when my mom asked me to sit out in the living room with him to keep him company for a few minutes. I had to sit out there and listen to the most fearsome person I’d ever known cry like a goddam baby. Those five minutes seemed like five days.

“My hovercraft is full of eels.”

The hardest thing I ever did was take a good friend of mine to the hospital for chemo & sit with him. I could see he was going through Hell, but he had to do it to have a chance at survival. God, it is senseless for anyone to suffer like he did. I’d stay over at his apartment at night, because he was too weak to get up by himself. I’d sit with him during the day & we’d talk or watch TV. The chemo made him itch terribly all the time, so I’d scratch his back.

Burying him was comparatively easy. At keast he wasn’t hurting anymore.

Enright3, I found my best friends birthmother for her. After many years of talking about it she decided she wanted to know her medical history if nothing else. It took about six months but I finally found her. If your wife ever decides she wants to search I have a lot of great tips.

My mom has been looking for her birthmother for almost 20 years…

O p a l C a t


Thank you for doing your civic duty. It is supposed to be hard to sentence someone to punishment. I’d be awfully worried if it were an easy thing to do. But sometimes it is necessary.

Designated Optional Signature at Bottom of Post

This takes a minute to explain, so bear with me, or click on by now.

My dad had cancer. They had done an exploratory surgery, decided there was no surgery that would help, closed him up and recommended radical chemo as the only hope. About a month later, sitting at home, he stopped breathing. My mom calls 911, the paramedics revive him, but he had been not breathing for almost 10 minutes.

At the hospital, we all (nine kids and assorted spouses) sit around with my mom while we wait for the verdict from the docs. They conference with her, and then she tells us that they say that there probably isn’t much hope, that he most likely will never regain consciousness, or live without machine support. She says she can’t make the decision alone to disconnect the life support, and wants us to talk to the doctors and see what we think.

We all file into the emergency ICU, and Mom says to the doctor and nurse “Tell them what you told me.” They give us the scoop, and then wait. Everything is quiet for a minute, and then I ask a question for clarification. They answer, and I ask something else. Now everyone is sort of looking at me, like I know something. Feeling like I’m in some sort of weird dream, I keep going. After a couple of more minutes, it seems pretty obvious that my Dad is pretty much gone, and in fact has been gone since the minute he stopped breathing.

I turn to my mom and say, “Based on all of that, it seems pretty clear. We should turn off the machines”.

Now don’t get me wrong. My brothers and sisters, my wife, and even my mother were not leaving me alone in this. We were all very much of a mind, and supportive of each other.

But I was the one who said out loud that my Mom should let my Dad die. That was tough.

They removed the support and he died about 12 hours later. We were all there. That was tougher.


Standing up for myself after my step dad called me a prick was kinda hard. Especially when he started walking towards me… ummm… ok, I’m done now.

“I’m not dumb. I just have a command of thoroughly useless information.”-- Calvin and Hobbes
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