Monday, January 19, 2009

Enough

I only have one of he and I together.

I do not have any with he and his brother.

It must have been only a month later but I had a sudden urge to see him. I needed to see him again and I couldn't.


I knew that the hospital had pictures. They told me that they had taken some and I could come and get them whenever I was ready, even if that day wasn't for years and years. Even if I was old and grey. They would keep them. Keep them safe.

About a month later, I needed them.

The urgency to see his face was so strong. I remember calling the hospital to see if pictures of my son, Andrew Daniel were ready. It felt so good to speak his name to someone.


They were.


My mouth went dry and suddenly I was scared. As much as I wanted to see those pictures, I didn't. His face was etched into my memory. Would seeing those pictures change something?Would they somehow change my recollections? Recollections that I was making concrete by playing them over and over in my mind, writing down every detail on paper- playing moments over and over.

I couldn't get the pictures. I phoned my mother. She said she could. And she did.

I waited until time had passed until I thought she had them. I phoned.
Her voice was soft, "Hello?"

"Do you have them?"

"Yes."

"How do they look?"

There was a long pause and she didn't need to say more, but she did. "Not so good." I heard her voice crack.

There was another pause and all I could say was "thank you."


I paced around the living room waiting and waiting and waiting (even though in reality only a few minutes probably passed). In those minutes I wondered about the images those pictures would contain. What did my little boy look like?


I saw her car pull into the driveway and waited at the door. When she entered I could tell she had been crying. I took the envelope from her, smiled, and went to my bedroom. I looked at my husband. He knew I needed to do this by myself.

He nodded.


I went to my room and closed the door. I climbed up on my bed and sat with my legs crossed underneath me. I pulled a pillow onto my lap.


I looked at the envelope. It was heavy. I turned it around and around in my hands and surely said some prayers.


My fingers trembled as I opened it's contents. And there before me was his face.

My shoulders began to heave and the tears began to flow. I didn't even attempt to stop them as I slowly looked at each one. I touched them as if they were him, ever so gently, his eyes, his nose, his dark red lips and his hair. (He had hair- at least a little- I didn't remember that.)


I looked at those pictures over and over and over. I looked at them until the shock of seeing them didn't overcome me anymore. I looked at them until they became my new memory. The pink boy born that night had changed. Now I saw these pictures. In a way they replaced that memory.


He was dressed in different outfits, the ones the hospital had given me, the ones I took out so regularly. Those outfits that I had spent hours holding- Holding them to my nose, hoping to recapture the scent of him, hoping to get that moment back- hoping.


After some time I moved the pillow off my lap unfolded my legs and stood. I breathed in and out and looked at myself in the mirror. My eyes were red and my face looked older. I had aged years the moment he left me. I wiped my tears. I felt better.


I exited the room and asked my mom which one she thought I should put up. I didn't have to hear an answer. Her face said it all. I remember talking with her about it and she chose her words carefully. 'Perhaps you should put this one in a frame' and then she added 'but keep it in your bedroom for you to remember.'


My heart broke. Why didn't she think he deserved to be out here on the wall? On this wall- next to his brother?

But I knew.

I knew that these pictures were hard to look at. They broke my heart when I first looked at them and my husband looked at them once and he had said that that was enough. They were uncomfortable. Everyone was uncomfortable and it made me so angry! I wanted those pictures hung on the wall. I wanted everyone who entered our home to know about him, to know he was ours, to know he was loved, to know he existed, to know he was real and not some figment of my imagination.

He existed.

So I turned and went to my room and put one of the pictures in a frame. The favorite one I had of just him.

And then I filled another frame. It had three openings. Surely one for the babies together and one of each of them individually...

But I didn't have that. I didn't have one of them together. And that may be one of my largest regrets. Why hadn't I gotten that picture of them together? I had picture upon picture of the two inside my womb, growing- Sharing a space together for nine months- Sharing a home. Two.

And so I found three pictures.
One of the old me.
When I arrived at the hospital, the old naive me who had no idea that her life would change in just moments. The old me. The happy me. The whole me. I look at her and try to remember what she was like. She seemed so unfamiliar.

And then two pictures of the new me. One with my angel. Our only picture together.

The other of me with my earth angel. The first picture, of many.


I paused for a moment and then placed it next to the the framed picture of him.
I placed it on my bedside table.


I looked at them and left the room.

And that is where they stay.


And if you enter our home, you do know there was another. His name is above our fireplace, framed next to pictures of his brothers and sister and for me, that has been enough.
He existed.

6 comments:

  1. ho....Laura.
    I love your words. They are so powerful and so true. The old you and the new you, I can so relate. Thank you for putting to words my feelings.

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  2. Laura,

    I love that you have done this.. what a great idea. So many days & months go by without my actually journaling, but blogging seems to be more convienient. So nice to read your stories. It is weird to think that we actually have two sides to our lifes, the "OLD" and the "NEW" - wow what differences. I think our new selves are definitly stronger.

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  3. Laura, you made me cry! Mostly, good tears, though, tears of remembrance. Same sort of things...I have no pictures of the girls together and none of Olivia and me. Can I just say that I would love to know why our pictures don't match our memories? What is it that makes our angels so red? The person who could solve that photo issue would be a hero to us all@

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  4. Laura, I have no words right now, only tears, tears for you and tears for me. Even though they are your words, they are right out of my heart also. I am sorry, I can only read one today, I will read more tomarrow. Thank you for having the courage to put your words down onto paper. Endless HUGS, joanne

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  5. laura...this breaks my heart...
    -Tara

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  6. laura...this breaks my heart...
    -Tara

    ReplyDelete

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