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Monday, November 10, 2008

Licking the Computer Screen

Good Afternoon, KuKd Strong Mommas and Inquisitive Guests!

This post is a bit of a downer, actually. I'm sorry to wallow for a minute, especially with all the tizzy fit-inducing excitment of the 2008 eRection, but I'm in a wallowing sort of mood. So briefly indulge me, if you will, and then we'll get back to the good stuff.

There are times when I think really hard about my son. Those times get further and further apart as time goes by, as the event slips deeper into the fuzzy past. But every now an again, for no reason whatsoever, I'll suddenly remember with precise clarity what it felt like to clutch him awkwardly against my body, wrapped in a blanket from head to toe, just a limp jumble of arms and legs and torso and head. God, I wanted him to be alive. I was like Chuckie's dad - remember that movie? If someone told me I could say a witchcrafty chant of some sort and bring my child back, alive but with a slightly different (shall we say...murderous) temperament, I just might have really done it.

It happened, oddly, on my bus ride to school this morning. No, I didn't stand up and start babbling a witchcrafty chant (believe me, there are enough crazies on the 174 bus to do that for me). Rather, I felt kind of distracted and in a pissy mood, not sure why, and slipped into a deep daydreaming session about my son.

When I got to my office, I did what I do when I'm in these kinds of morose moods. I opened up Zachary's picture on my computer screen, and zoomed in really close, staring intently, trying to soak up every detail of his face, his fingers, each curve, his nose, mouth, forehead, dead skin splotches, hair, everything. The whole big kaboodle. It baffles me that he can be RIGHT THERE, right in front of my face, and yet not really there at all. And the desire to reach into the screen and touch him, pull him out of there and into my arms, is so incredibly strong that I practically have the urge to lick the computer screen. It's like that screen is a window into another world, some kind of Candyland. You are of me, from me, by me. Come back.

For the record, I don't actually lick the computer screen. That would be gross. But I did stare for a long, long time. It's all I have left of him, really. I do have a few other pieces of Zach - some locks of hair in a Zip-loc bag, a metal ID tag from cremation services, a blanket, some footprints. But those are all puzzle pieces, and the photograph is the only thing I have that prove he really existed as a whole.

What's odd is, this is such a compartmentalized thing, this occasional bout of pure yearning. Once my work day starts, poof - it's gone. Out of sight, out of mind, and it's like nothing out of the ordinary has occurred. Like, even now, I feel totally fine.

Speaking of other compartments of the brain, here's a bright side to end this post on a more upbeat note: I'm happy to report that submissions and subscribers to Exhale are pouring in. I'm thrilled about this project - yet another glorious excuse to not grade my students' essays. Yes, right up there with Windexing the glass coffee table and googling "Teff recipes" (my new favorite grain that I don't really like, but want to).

More on "teff" later....


*~*Lis*~* said...

I hate to make this about me when it's so obviously about you - but I have had a really shitty hour with my kids. All three are fussy and the twins have been literally screaming for almost 45 minutes for no apparent reason. I left them in the toy room to get some quiet and came online looking for something funny. I needed this kind of wake up call to remind myself that I'm pretty fucking lucky and an hour or so of screaming is nothing like the shittyness some people have gone through.

I'm so sorry you have real shittyness to deal with and I'm kicking my own ass right now for yelling at my kids a few minutes ago. I'm going to go kiss them now and tell them I love them.

Monica LeMoine said...

Lis, as always, your comment is really heartfelt and insightful. I really think so much is about perspective. Yes, having kids is a fortunate thing, but that doesn't mean they don't occasionally need an arse-whooping. Sounds like yours needed an arse-whooping

More lighthearted fare is on its way, I promise. This one just sort of poured out of brain, down my arms and out my fingertips with borderline unstoppable force.

chicklet said...

I don't have any idea how horrible this must have all been and still is for you, but it's a beautiful post that really gives me some insight into how isolating it must be. Those outside this infertility world don't understand just the inability to make a baby, let alone to move past one that didn't make it. I think you wrote it very very well.

Michelle said...

Monica, It sucks. I am sorry that you have to feel this, to go through this pain. I know exactly what you mean it just sometimes hits you like a ton of bricks. Although I can not imagine the pain of having him right there in your arms yet not having him and I am so sorry. I hate the mornings because sometimes for a split second I forget. I forget all the sadness and forget the broken heart and then after the night fog lifts from my brain,it's there and and sometimes it hurts like hell! I wish I could say something that would be profound and make it all go away but I can't so I will just say...I think you are an incredible woman who has strength that I so wish you did not have to have. Your humor always puts a smile on my face and I thank you for that. But if you have to wallow then go ahead and wallow away. Im here and I am listening.

Anabelle said...

i love my Rowan so much I can't explain it. If she was gone, I would die.

I can only imagine how many times you've died.

i'm sorry.

Monica LeMoine said...

Chicklet, thank you - glad you got some insight into the strange workings of my mind. I hope I didn't scare you. Really, I don't lick my computer. Not often, anyway.

Michelle, thank you for knowing.

Anabelle, and again to Lis: I always feel a special connection to mommies with real, non short-bus kids like mine, because like me, you've delivered a child. Our parenthood paths part in totally separate ways from there, but we've got those 9 months of common experience.

Ahhh life!

sharonvw said...

Hey Mon
Wow, what a post, after reading it I could literally feel the yearning you must feel for him. Its truly shitty and there does not seem to be any rhyme or reason for it or for why any of us have to battle so hard to have and to hold our own flesh and blood.
But you seem to cope so well. Well done!

janis said...

((hugs)) It just is surreal and weird, this existence we lead after our child dies...

'Murgdan' said...

I cannot even imagine. You really describe it so well though...I can almost, but don't want to, imagine.

Viktoria said...

Ugh! I'm so there Monica. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night to hollow silence and my heart and arms physically hurt from the yearning to hold my baby girl again. I try and recall every detail so I don't somehow loose those too. Her long thin fingers like my grandma's, like my mom's, like mine. I just try and remember that I got to hold her every minute for 37 weeks. But most days I do a pretty good impression of normal.

I'm looking forward to reading Exhale and getting my ass in gear and contributing too.

oxoxoxox Vik

julian + jen said...

hugs. really BIG hugs.

Monica LeMoine said...

Shaz, Janis, Murgan, Vik: Thank you thank you thank you. Thanks for the xoxo's and hug's. Thank god for internet-sympathy; where would we be without it!