Heartbreaking essay. I only had an inkling what people go through when their child is stillborn. I guess I always thought of it as being something like recovering from a serious, but short-lived illness, like when an otherwise healthy person gets pneumonia or a burst appendix. It’s really more like losing a child, isn’t it?
Now and then, Faron Cox goes to his “thinking window.” He allows the view of his land to fill his eyes and slips away from his reality: life as a worn 61-year-old single dad still changing diapers.
“When I first started doing this story, I thought it was a story about grandparents raising kids. … I was blown away,” photographer Brittany Greeson said. Greeson, who interned at The Washington Post last year, met the family two years ago in Fordsville, Ky., through Cox’s oldest son, who is in his 40s. They lead a simple life: 55 acres, a double-wide trailer, and a rope swing for each of the two young boys, Faron Jr. and Skylor. Every morning Cox helps the boys brush their hair and put on their shoes for school. Their mother does not live with them.
But Cox, who the boys tend to see as a jungle gym, is finding it increasingly hard to keep up. Years of manual labor jobs have worn his body. He regularly takes medication for arthritis and back pain….
“It scares me thinking at my age you don’t know how much longer you got left,” Cox told Greeson, “I’m just hoping I live long enough to see the little things get on their feet.” But that will take time, something that Cox does not have in the same abundance as a younger father.