Friday, October 08, 2010
He Exists in Pictures and My Mind
I have never ever seen a video of Elijah since he died.
I have photos of him; they are flat and one dimensional, but they definitely look like Elijah. When I look at those pictures, he is as beautiful as I remember him.
And my arms have a memory of holding him; that memory is in my body forever.
If I imagine holding him, I can also just as easily remember how he preferred my left shoulder, and my neck will crook just a tiny bit to the left, and I can remember how he leaned in to touch my head, and the feel of his breath on my ear.
I remember these things, and they are gifts.
And, although I remember him using his voice, I cannot remember his voice. I know that he sang, but I cannot recall his song.
For years the videos were packed away, the thought of viewing them too painful to pursue to fruition. Two years ago, I asked Xdude to please tell me where they were; I was finally ready to view them and I wanted to make digital copies of the videotapes. I had waited so long, I was sure I was ready. I was achingly desperate to see, hear, watch, and yes, probably cry.
He wouldn't get them out, he wouldn't tell me where they had been hidden. He claimed it was because I was going to 'take them somewhere unsafe' to get digital copies. He said he would do it himself. I knew he wouldn't because he wasn't ready to see the videos of our dead child when he was alive. Which was fine. I didn't ask him to watch them.
I wanted to watch them.
Last Spring, about a month before I moved from the house we had shared for eight years, I asked him if there was anything he wanted me to look for when moving out - anything he particularly wanted. It was a peaceful gesture, and I volunteered it. It was reasonable to assume that there were probably some things he missed when moving out in a one day rush that previous Summer.
I really would have just given him anything important if he needed it.
He responded that he would like a hard drive, promised a copy to me, and said he would give me 'some of the videos of Elijah in return'.
My eyes slid out of their sockets and landed in a pile of mush in front of screen. Had he just offered to give me 'some of the videos' of our dead son, IF I gave him what he wanted?
Did he really imply that he would be holding those videos hostage until I handed over the correct ransom?
I couldn't believe it. I had just offered to give him something, and he gave me instead, a glimpse into how entitled he feels to play games with me. Still.
Which I guess isn't a complete shock.
But to use our dead son as the prizewinning carrot?
It took me this many months to write about it, because I thought nothing could surprise me anymore, and because it makes me ill. Which is what I am feeling right now.
Posted by gwendomama at 11:35 AM