And finally, there was my brother. My baby brother, four years younger but taller, stronger, big enough to lift me off the floor and squeeze me until I puke, which he’s done once or twice. You never really know a person until you see them when the chips are down. Jason is a bluff, easy-going fellow who’s never quite gotten the attention that louder, brasher older brother did. But throughout the summer, he revealed himself to be a person of sure moral instincts — and not a little media savvy — and he was, more than anyone, firmly convinced that his daughter would see the light of day. To watch him in that hospital room every night broke my heart even as it swelled with pride. That’s a man.
I have to admit, I’m still not sure what to make of everything that happened. This column is just one attempt to figure it all out. I am convinced that God was guiding the entire process to some definite end, for some ineluctable purpose. I don’t know why we were handed this task, but I do think of it as task. I believe my family was given the job not simply of bringing Susan’s baby into the world, but of testifying in this very public way to the preciousness of life and the importance of fighting for the most vulnerable among us.
Why us? I have no idea. It certainly would seem to prove the proposition that He writes straight with crooked lines, since the Torreses are no collection of saints but a ragtag assortment of lunatic brawlers. Peggy Noonan once described herself as a good bad Catholic, utterly believing but full of all sorts of flaws that make for interesting confessions. That’s us. There’s a lesson here: Be prepared, you never know what life will require of you. He comes like a thief in the night. (By contrast, 20/20 will call your cell phone six times day.)