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’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.”