Dads Against the Divorce Industry

DA*DI is devoted to reinstating the societal valuation of Marriage and the traditional, nuclear American Family, with particular emphasis on the essential role of FATHERS.

DA*DI offers contemporary reports and commentary on culture; its aberrations and its heroes.

"Daddy?", Autumn said.

by Gerald L. Rowles, Ph.D.
September 11, 2001

My secretary was spellbound at the radio as we heard the evolving news of the Big Apple horror. "I wish I had a TV so I could see what is going on," she said.

Feeling a need to escape from growing feelings of claustrophobia, brought on by the suffocating realization of what was taking place in my America, I left to buy a small portable TV.

At the nearest Radio Shack I tried to wait patiently while the clerk closed a cellphone sale. Standing next to me was a twentyish man holding a little girl, maybe 2 years old. She had ice blue eyes and tossled blond hair. As I looked at her, her eyes riveted on me, her face expressionlessly intent. She continued to rivet her gaze at me, and I responded by asking her name. She remained expressionless. Then, something remarkable happened.

She raised both arms, clasped and unclasped her tiny hands, asking to be held. I looked at the man holding her for a signal of approval. He leaned toward me and I grasped her and told her I was going to give her a big hug. She collapsed into my arms and wrapped her arms around my neck. I couldn't have been less ready for what happened next.

I pulled back and looked in her eyes. She looked at me with the deepest, most questioning look and voiced the question, "Daddy?"

I asked her name. "Autumn", was the reply.

As I returned her to his arms, the blushing man said, "I'm her mother's boyfriend."

Autumn became distracted, seemingly self-conscious, and struggled to get down and refocus on the colorful boxes and gadgets. I completed my purchase and left, feeling a bit emotionally shaken.

I drove back to the office with my secretary's TV. And when I reached my parking space, I sat with my racing thoughts, attempting to sort out the two major events of the day. The World Trade Center and Autumn.

And then it washed over me. Perhaps 1000s dead in the tragic towers.

My G-d, how many orphans?

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