"Death sets a thing significant
The eye had hurried by..."

I recently found myself traveling a once familiar path. From one file folder to another and finally to one labeled: Seth. Images tucked away because of their power, even now almost seven years later. Unique features, red hair, a person. Not just a dead baby. My son. I wondered why I had no pictures of him up on my wall.

Because, I suppose, it is disturbing. He is a full term, 8-pound baby with everything right where it should be. Still, he is dead. And his coloring is off. Blood was beginning to pool in his face, his lips were bright red. Blood on my hospital gown, my eyes swollen almost shut.

Also, these are all we have. A handful of pictures, ones that Keith and I took ourselves with our pathetic point and shoot. Even the three terrible polaroids shot by our pushy nurse are a treasure to me. I wish I had more. I wish we'd had professional shots. It wasn't even an option at the time.

I don't want to walk by the one good shot we have and not notice it because I see it every day.


I've long admired the work of Nikki McClure, an artist who creates images with an X-acto knife. Really love her art.

I was reminded of her while reading a blog a week or two ago and decided to treat myself to one of her prints. Just a 5x7 note card, really, but big enough to frame and display.

It arrived a few days ago, I opened it and hung it in my kitchen. As I stood back and looked, I realized why it had so appealed to me. Beyond the universal appeal of mother and baby, it somehow spoke to me of Seth.

The baby hidden in red. The mystery.

I turned the card over to find any information I could. Written there was the name of the print, I hadn't noticed before: Surrender.


the Joneses said...

Thank you for posting this. It's a beautiful picture. I think of Seth almost every time I think of your family.

-- SJ

Liane said...

Thank you, Sara.

Anonymous said...

very moving..there are no words, just tears. xo, K

bafferly said...

My heart is moved by the picture and by your words and by the memory of being in the upstairs room with you during another child's funeral. You are So Special, Liane.

Liane said...

I remember that very well, Mrs. J. I'm glad you were there!

Chrissy said...

Our beautiful babies!

Sometimes when I look at Isaiah's pictures I wonder what other people see? Do they see the beauty that my mother's eyes behold? Then I think probably not...they probably see some scary creature. But then I have to laugh because I realize when I look at baby pictures of my other boys... other people probably did not see the absolute beauty and perfection I saw in them either.

A child's face/features... especially that of a newborn... are there for the mother to treasure and to memorize like no other person can. A mother sees with her heart.

Seth was beautiful and so are you!!

Liane said...

Thanks, Chrissy! Wish I'd been able to hold Isaiah and see him up close.