I Finally Met the Woman Who Held My Dying Son
A Special Meeting
When Ladies' Home Journal learned about all that Collins had done for Carlo's family, we knew we had to arrange for them to meet in person. Last May -- on Memorial Day weekend, appropriately -- LHJ flew Collins to Robinson?s home in Arkansas.
Jennifer Robinson: When Christine arrived we hugged so hard and started crying immediately. I was holding the person who had held my son! I couldn't believe she'd gone so far beyond her duty to meet Carneshia and Dakaria and me. Christine told me that in her dreams she'd envisioned herself meeting the children and telling them how brave Carlo was. That day I watched her do it. Her visit was bittersweet, though. Bitter because it opened up old wounds; sweet because I was able to embrace the woman who was with Carlo when he died. You don't meet people like Christine every day. It's good to know that there are still such caring people in the world.
Christine Collins: I learned so much about Carlo that day. Jennifer told me that the kids in Afghanistan always looked for him because he gave them candy when he was out on patrol. People nicknamed him "The Dentist" because he could make anyone smile. As we looked at photos of Carlo, I saw why it fit. His own smile was beautiful. I'm not sure why I feel such a strong connection to Carlo. But it's there, and I know I need to be of service to Carlo's kids, who will grow up without a dad, and to his mother, who lost her son. And I need to do it for Carlo, who's looking down on me, knowing I will do right by him even though we only met briefly. Wherever I go, he'll always be with me.
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