A Birth Mother’s Dying Wish

Constance hopes to find her two sons she placed.

Shelley Skuster February 03, 2017
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Seventy-five year old Constance (Long) Cerveny is dying.

Hospice support workers keep her comfortable at the nursing home in Stromsburg, Neb., but she has one final wish: to find her sons.

On July 7, 1957, Constance gave birth to a son, James Laverne Long, at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Omaha. Two years later, the teen mother gave birth to a second son, Michael Ray Long, on February 2, 1959, at the same hospital.

Constance Cerveny 2 (1)

After Constance (Long) placed her sons for adoption and divorced their father, she married Robert Cerveny, and together they had five children.

Constance’s dementia makes it hard to remember all the details, but not a day goes by where she hasn’t thought about the heartache she felt as she said goodbye to her sons. It was 1961, and the boys were toddlers — two and four years old. Her husband at the time was in and out of their lives, eventually landing himself in prison, and Constance wanted them to have a better life than what she could provide so she placed the boys for adoption.

“As the years go by I think she remembers less and less,” said Lisa Cerveny, Constance’s daughter-in-law. “She has said that one had cigarette burns on his arms from the father’s family, and the other one was cross-eyed with glasses. One of them had freckles.”

Constance recalls her second-born son, Michael, was adopted by an attorney in Omaha with the last name of Brown. She doesn’t remember any other details, and has no idea what either of the boys’ names are today or if they still live in the Omaha area.

Lisa said her family hopes connecting Constance with her biological sons will offer her the peace she desperately needs before passing away. It is her dying wish.

“Giving them up is her greatest regret. The closer she gets to dying, the more it bothers her,” said Lisa. “She wants them to know she loves them and has thought of them daily.”

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Shelley Skuster

Shelley is a former award-winning television journalist who traded in suit coats and red lipstick for a messy bun and yoga pants. She's a freelance writer who stays at home with her three daughters who are all ((gasp)) under the age of three and came to her via adoption and birth. She's the woman behind the blog Shelley Writes, and she can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.


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