On my computer screen I have had the same image of Zoë holding a bottle. This picture was taken the very first (and last) day that I returned to work during Zoë's life. Zeppo had such a hard time that day trying to get her to eat. He tried everything, and finally in frustration he set her down in her crib, and tried feeding her there. It worked. Or at least it did until she fell asleep.
Every day I worked in my office I started up my computer to see this photograph. It reminded me of just how headstrong Zoë was, how determined to get her own way. How beautiful she was, her long fingers, and soft hair.
By removing Zoë's image I feel like I am relegating her to some strange level of limbo because Zoë now mostly lives in images. I have a finite number of these photographs and I won't be able to put up new ones of her as I put up new ones of Esmée. It almost feels like I am relegating her to the back of the bus.
Now I know many of you will send me messages saying, “Oh no Laura, don’t feel that way. You are not replacing Zoë.” Now I know this. My rational brain understands this is not the case, but I don’t have Zoë running around to remind me of her. She is not here talking to me about random baby things, or demanding my attention. The only way Zoë is capable of capturing my attention is when I think of her, when I am reminded of her, or when I see her image.
Zoë’s photographs are so important to Zeppo and I that we have them saved on a special drive, and it is locked in a fire proof lock box. They are on several computers, and thumb drives. I also know that we don’t have all of the images that were ever taken of her. My family has some on their computers, and phones that I hope to over time get and add to what we have.
In case of an emergency besides Esmée I would be desperate to grab Zoë’s photos. Everything else in my house is unimportant. That is how important these images are to me.
So back to my computer….how can I remove this image of Zoë? Well I take a very deep breath. I say, “I love you baby.” I click on an image of Esmée, and in a blink of an eye Esmée’s picture is on my desktop. But before I do all of this I print out an 8 1/2” X 11” copy of Zoë holding her bottle, and I attach it to my desk so every day when I work in my office I will sit down and see my head strong, brave little warrior.
Mommy loves you baby girl. Yes she does. Yes she does.