Oprah Talks to Christine McFadden
Oprah: So I sit here watching you hold your babies, bringing new life into the world, giving new life to yourself.
Christine: Yes. It doesn't change anything with the other children, or lessen the feelings there. But it allows me to go forward and live a fuller, more normal life. Just going to the grocery store and seeing kids' cereal boxes is already easier.
Oprah: I've heard people say that sometimes it's the simplest things that bring back memories. For you, with four children, everywhere you turn, there must be a memory.
Christine: Yes—from driving past their schools to seeing the plants they helped me pick out for the yard. They were involved in so many things. I spent nearly 18 years raising kids, and most of my friends had children my kids' age. Over the years, what did I talk about with the neighbors? It wasn't "I did a cystotomy and took out some bladder stones yesterday." We talked about our children. After my kids died, it was as if I had nothing else to say.
Oprah: How long after the murders did you begin dating Jerry?
Christine: About eight months. I wasn't looking for a relationship. After I got divorced the second time, I wasn't going to have anything to do with men. Divorce is very painful, and I wasn't willing to put anybody through that again—not me, not another man, not my kids. But six months after they died—even though I was going around in jeans and no makeup, and not really going many places—men started coming out of the woodwork. I was floored!
Jerry had been married for 31 years; in 2000 his wife died from complications of diabetes. She'd been in a vegetative state for many years, and he was her caretaker. So when Jerry and I met, we were two emotionally shut-down people. The whole time we were dating, I was seeing a psychiatrist and a trauma therapist.
Oprah: What did you even do when you first started dating? Because when I saw you in 2004, you were definitely emotionally shut down.
Christine: I don't think we knew it at the time. I wasn't demanding of him, and he was there for me. I thought if he was around, I might sleep three hours a night. So in some ways I probably used him. But we had good conversation, a lot in common. We certainly enjoyed each other. And the only time I was guaranteed not to think about the children was when we were having sex.
Christine: So it worked to see him.