This quilt block was created by Michelle Connor.
Her Marine husband, 20-year-old Robert Quiroz, was summoned back to Fresno from a military training camp in Kuwait to be with his ailing wife just before she died. When he arrived in Fresno, he was faced with the decision of whether to remove her from life support. He also had the responsibility of caring for newborn Roman and the couple’s 18-month-old daughter. He was permanently transferred to the Fresno-based Marine Reserve Training Center and moved in with his sister-in-law and her boyfriend, who helped him care for the children.
Tragically, approximately three months following Candice Quiroz’s death, Robert was booked at the Fresno County Jail, charged with killing Roman. The baby had been admitted to a Fresno hospital with a broken arm the previous month, and police had begun a child abuse investigation, but the baby was, nevertheless, released from the hospital to his father’s custody.
Robert Quiroz told reporters that he didn’t know how to feel the way he should about Roman. “The feelings inside of me, I kind of wanted to push him away, but he’s my son. My wife gave him to me.”
On a MySpace.com website, he wrote: “On August 21, 2006, my whole world ended. For those of you who don’t know, my beautiful wife Candice died. Just because you see me smile and you see me laugh doesn’t come close to the way I feel inside. I will never be as happy as I was until I’m with my wife again.”