Poll: Do You Let This Guy See His Kid?

My friend Karol linked to this New York Times article by Victoria Rosner on Twitter and it got me thinking. Here’s a snippet but I recommend you read the whole thing and then comment back:

A year earlier, Judah’s father had gone to the doctor for what he thought was sciatica but turned out to be cancer that had metastasized to his bones. He was 51 at the time; Judah was 2.

But that’s only part of the story. Until the time of the diagnosis, Judah and his father hadn’t seen much of each other. Sometime between Judah’s conception and delivery, his father decided that he couldn’t be married anymore, not to me, he said, and probably not to anyone.

In Texas, where we were living, it turned out to be illegal to divorce your wife while she was pregnant. So although he filed for divorce during my seventh month, we were still legally married on the day Judah was born, which also happened to be the day before our 10th wedding anniversary.

He was there for the birth and dropped in on us for visits, but a few months later I moved back to New York City, where my family lived. I felt like someone who had survived a tornado: miraculously, I was able to leave the destruction behind me. Judah, knowing nothing of his chaotic origins, was a sweet and placid baby. I loved wheeling him up and down the streets where I’d grown up.

Two years later Judah’s father remained in Texas and I was still in New York. After finding out about the cancer, though, he called me. I hadn’t heard his voice in a while, and it sounded strained. I expressed sympathy about his illness, but that wasn’t what he wanted to talk about.

“I need to ask you something,” he said. “You are totally within your rights to say no, but I hope you’ll at least listen to me. I had always planned to have a relationship with Judah when he was a little older, but now I don’t know if that can happen. I want to start seeing him more, as much as I can, right away. I don’t have money for New York hotels, so I’d like to stay with you or your mother when I’m in town. During chemo I might not be able to travel, but I’d like to talk to Judah on the phone every night. And maybe have you bring him to visit me.”

Victoria asks, “Could I forgive one more time?” Could you? Even if a person could, should they allow the guy to foster a relationship when he’s going to die?

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