Does anyone remember those, “Baby on Board,” signs that were prevalent in the late ‘80’s and ‘90’s? They seemed to be suction cupped to the window of every other car on the road. I thought about those signs this morning and how I never got one after Jordan was born because it seemed to me that people should drive safely regardless of whether there was a baby in the car or not.
We’re still waiting to see if the video camera we sent in for repair will come back to us with images of Jordan in the last months before he died. The repairman called again recently to say that they needed to repair the motherboard and wanted our approval because they couldn’t guarantee that our hard drive wouldn’t be lost. If the hard drive is lost in the process of repairing the machine we lose the footage that’s on the camera. When the repairman asked what I wanted to do, proceed, or not with the repairs, my response was silence, then a heavy sigh and then a plea.
“The hard drive holds footage of our son. He was killed in a car accident. We need it.”
“Ma’am, I can’t guarantee that the hard drive won’t be damaged. Can you have your husband call me back and tell me what you want to do?”
Another long silence as I try to keep the tears out of my voice.
“Um, I’m not sure what we should do. I’ll have my husband call you.”
“Thank you, Ma’am.”
Mark called the repair center and told them to go ahead with the repairs. This morning while I showered I thought about the camera and visualized the repairs being done, hoping that they’re being extra careful so we have more memories of Jordan. I finally shook my head and thought, “Whether you have the footage or not, Jordan’s still gone. Stop putting so much importance on the camera. It doesn’t bring Jordan back.”
I realized how ridiculous it was that I’d poured my heart out to the repairman as though with my camera he’d be extra careful and more professional and with everyone else’s repairs he did slipshod work. That’s how I got to the baby on board signs in my meandering way. I would hope that the repairman always does his best work, just like when I saw the, “Baby on Board,” signs I hoped that everyone drove responsibly. Now I wish I’d wrapped the car Jordan was riding in on October 12th, 2008 in, “MY BABY ON BOARD,”signs and that doing so would have kept him alive. There are no magic formulas of protection or safety. I’m sitting with that harsh reality and waiting again for a box in the mail.