I haven’t posted pictures of Elena on this site and we have plenty of them.
When I taught at Oberlin College I had a picture of Maggie Rose on my website. She was not yet two and eating spaghetti in her high chair. She had reached for the phone and was sitting there looking as cute as can be with spaghetti sauce all over her face and clothes holding the phone upside down and talking into the wrong end.
This was included in the section about contacting me. I provided my home phone but wanted my students to see what it was that I considered most important during the time that I was at home. I took the picture down a few months later and didn’t post more pictures because I was afraid of having images of my girls posted on the internet.
After Elena died we went to Kim’s cousin’s house to pick up Maggie and tell her and take her home. When we got home Kim sobbed that she hadn’t even taken a picture of Elena with her newly missing tooth.
Maggie had. Maggie showed Kim that the night before, she and Elena had taken pictures of themselves using the iMac with the built in camera. We have a picture of Elena smiling, proudly showing off the gap in her teeth.
But we’re not posting pictures of Elena.
Channel 19 came over twice trying to come into our house and shove a camera in Kim and my face. Patti has been guarding the door and watching over us. She kept them out. Kim and I don’t watch local news – it’s one tragedy after another overplayed in ways that don’t serve the public. We certainly didn’t want to be the subject of a story. The woman from the t.v. station said “he’s already talked to channel 8.” Patti wisely said, “no he hasn’t and I still am not letting you in.”
They came back a second time while Kim and I were at the funeral home picking out a casket. Patti was playing board games with Maggie. Maggie had beaten her at Deflexion and Mancala and had moved to Sorry because “it’s mainly a game of chance so maybe you can win.” This time they told Patti they just wanted to come in and film Elena’s picture. Again Patti sent them away.
But it isn’t because of privacy that we aren’t posting her picture. It’s hard to describe, but I’ll try.
I’ve read all of your comments. Thank you. Many of you have sent us support and that means a lot. But many of you have sent us a note about looking at your own child differently. Others have sent stories of losses you have suffered. A picture makes this story about one particular little girl. We’re touched that you have personalized this story and made it about you and your family.