Thursday, February 28, 2008

the evolution of a dream

Ever since the age of 14, I had dreams that I was pregnant. These were fairly frequent dreams, at least once a week, and more often and more vivid around the times I was expecting my period. They were never bad dreams; that is, I don't recall being frightened or upset in them, except for a rare few. But there was never really any real story to them; they were just like random moments in time. They always left me puzzled, because before I met my husband, I had never even considered having biological children; I have always, always wanted to adopt.

In any case, I'm sure you noticed the past tenses. About a year or so ago, these dreams stopped. Quite suddenly. I'd just assumed they'd "taken a break", that they'd be back eventually. But no.

And now, for the past two months, I've been dreaming about children. It's never the same child each time, just like each of my pregnancy dreams were never exactly the same. For example, in last night's dream, I found myself holding a little girl. No explanation as to how we reached that point, I just found myself holding a baby girl. She was dark skinned and definitely not my own child, wrapped in a fuzzy blue blanket. She had a hat on, pink or purple, maybe striped with both. I wanted to take pictures of her, but the flash on the camera scared her and she cried. And I loved her. I remember that so clearly, this outpouring of affection and a need to protect her.

That was it. They're all like that, to be honest. Just like a photograph; there's no story, no background to tell me how we reached the moment being depicted. It's just me and this child.

If I wanted to be honest (which I don't), I'd say these dreams make me bitterly sad. If I felt like lying (which I do), I'd say they're really stupid. And either way, this isn't something I feel like I can share with Sid.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

someone's got the blahs

Sid called today. He asked "how are the cats?" I said "fine." He asked "how are you?" I said "fine." He asked "can you mail the PT shorts I forgot to pack?" I said "I'd planned to mail them with your care package."

There was nothing to talk about. What am I supposed to say? Well, it rained again, for the third day in a row, and it totally matches my mood right about now. The cats are eating and sleeping and pooing as usual, and I biked 20 miles today as usual. Everything's the same as when you left. I get up in the mornings, do all the things that need doing, and lie awake all night. Everything is exactly the same. And just so you know, in my bad moments, I imagine all the things I could do to hurt you as badly as I'm hurting right now.

Somehow, I just don't think that's going to go over well.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

this ruined my day

And now it can ruin yours, too.

Prosecutors are calling it a horrific case of child abuse.

Today they charged the parents of a 5-month-old Peoria boy with first-degree murder. 21-year-old Tracey Hermann and 23-year-old James Sargent are accused of gross neglect and starvation of their baby. Last week Sargent called 9-1-1 from the family's Proctor Street home in Peoria. When rescue personnel arrived they found the baby unresponsive seated in a car seat placed inside a crib. Investigators now believe the child had been strapped in the car seat without food or water for eight days.

States Attorney Kevin Lyons said the room was about 80 degrees when the baby was fgound. The boy was wearing a snowsuit and held in the car seat by a rope. He said there are times "when crying yourself to sleep no longer works, and you cry yourself to death." Tracey Hermann has another child, a three year old girl. The state is moving to have that child permanently removed from Hermann. Because of the age of the Benjamin Sargent, both James Sargent and Tracey Hermann, are eligible for the death penalty if convicted. Lyons has 120 days from the time Sargent and Hermann are indicted to make that decision.

Here is a copy of Peoria County States Attorney Kevin Lyon's statement to the court: On February 12, 2008, Peoria Police responded to a call at 3012 W. Proctor Street in Peoria. Found dead and strapped in a car seat that had been placed in a crib was 5-month-old Benjamin Sargent. The defendants are his parents. Benjamin was wearing a blue snow suit. It was zipped up. The temperature in the room was near 80 degrees.Benjamin's eyes were open, his hands were clenched in a fistlike position and, although dead, his eyes were staring straight ahead. Police investigation and medical and pahtological examination would reveal that Benjamin had been strapped into this car seat and had not left it in eight days. All waste and urine had collected beneath him and his buttocks, legs and back were eaten into by the resulting poison. Some aste left in benjamin's colon revealed resulted in constipation because it could not be pushed out of his body due to starvation.

James Sargent was present at the house and, when interviewed on that day, and again on February 18, his answers to questions confirmed for police that Benjamin had been returned to the residence on february 4, 2008, by a grandmother and he was in the same car seat, wearing the same snow suit, and confined in the same manner as when he was found dead eight days later. A person who 'stayed' with others in the garage of the defendants told police that he was the one who observed Benjamin in the car seat, and on the living room floor, and that it was he who found this odd and so, he placed the child (while in the car seat) in a baby crib in a bedroom. The house was kept in an outrageous condition with nothing in its place, food left out and spoiled, and belongings scattered everywhere. Clothing, articles, spoilage, and debris were stacked everywhere around the house.

James Sargent told police he "thought" he had maybe moved Benjamin once or twice during the eight-day period but, upon further questioning, he conceded that he may not have been moved at all. The person from the garage tells police that Benjamin was found just as he had left him eight days earlier. The 'mother' was in Iowa, where she had gone to see a male boyfriend she found over the internet. She told police that caring for her baby Benjamin was not her duty and that it was James' responsibility. Before heading to Iowa on the day before Benjamin was found dead, Tracy Hermann said she looked at the baby in the crib and presumed he was sleeping so she said she stuck a bottle between the baby and the side of the carseat so that he woke up he could grab it and feed himself if he was hungry. In case the court missed it earlier, Benjamin Sargent was five months old. Tracy Hermann also has a daughter, almost 3, who Tracy Hermann seems to have 'given away' to a family member.

A shelter care hearing on that matter now pends in the circuit court because I am also seeking to remove her permanently and forever from any contact with Tracy Hermann. Preliminary examination of Benjamin Sargent's body showed that he weighed 10 pounds, suffered from sepsis in the blood and tissue, was without proper liquid and food and that he died from starvation due to neglect by the two defendants who stand before you, Tracey D. Hermann and James E. Sargent.

It boggles the mind. Now, I know that this kind of thing happens far more often than we hear about in the news, but the fact that this gained attention doesn't detract from the sheer horror of it.

And the part where they said his little hands were clenched... I seriously thought I would vomit. You know how babies clench their fists when they cry? My fucking god. That poor little boy. There are just no words.

Friday, February 22, 2008

a news article

For the life of me, I can't tell you what possessed me to search the internet for this article. But I feel like I ought to post it here, just because. I've been talking so much about the deployment, here's some actual news coverage.

NORFOLK, VA. (MyFox Hampton Roads) -- At Naval Station Norfolk Wednesday, nearly 3-thousand sailors with the Nassau Expeditionary Strike Group deployed to the 5th and 6th fleet areas of operation.

"Very nervous, very emotional, gonna miss him, yeah gonna miss him," said Corrine.

"He made it back just in time for her to be born and now she turned a year old in December and he's leaving again," said Michelle.

The guided missile destroyer USS Bulkeley was first to leave port, followed by the USS Ross and then the amphibious assault ship USS Nassau. USS Nashville, also part of the Nassau Expeditionary Strike Group is expected to get underway Thursday due to an engine problem. A little more than a year ago, the Nashville helped in the non-combative evacuation of more than two thousand Americans from Lebanon.

"You never quite do exactly what you expect to do before you leave. It's like the cop on the beat, when you're there you can make much more of a difference than having to travel to wherever it is you need to be," said Captain Dewolfe H. Miller III, Commanding Officer of the USS Nashville.

Amphibious ships like the Nashville are supposed to be transporting Marines, but last month the Marine Expeditionary Unit received orders to get a different ride to Afghanistan.

"Certainly one of our missions is to transport Marines, but there's just so many other things that we do. The search and rescue capability the medical capability that we all bring," said Captain Robert G. Lineberry, Commodore, Nassau Strike Group.

As these men and women wait to see what this deployment will bring, their loved ones wait patiently back at home.

Speak for yourselves. I'm not "waiting patiently." I'm fucking pissed! You assholes had no idea what the hell was going on, couldn't give anyone a solid date until just a few days before launch!

So no, I am not "waiting patiently." I'm just waiting. Waiting to gain some sense of normalcy now that there is none. Waiting to be able to live the life he and I have been imagining, that has been put off repeatedly because of the demands of the military.

Fuck that "patient" bullshit.


I logged into MySpace for the first time ages, because my mother had sent me an email asking when Sid was coming home, saying that my sister Jessica had told her about his deployment. Well, my first thought was "how did Jessica find out?" and then I realized that Sid had probably sent a bulletin or something to let everyone know he was leaving.

So being the masochistic bitch I am, I just had to go find it and read it for myself.

There wasn't one. But... there was a soppy little bulletin from my sister's fiance, talking about SUPPORT THE TROOPS, and I opened it. Because I am stupid. And I like to torture myself.

It was the typical MySpace SUPPORT THE TROOPS bulletin, truly, but it had music. Nickelback's "Far Away," which gets me every damn time. Oh my fucking cheese goddess, the waterworks. I cried for ten solid minutes. And I'd only heard one line of the song.

So that was my Emo Moment for today, and I'm done with crying.

For now.

I did about ten minutes of yoga yesterday before I decided that the carpet was in dire need of a vacuuming, and I simply had to stop what I was doing right then and set to. And I woke up this morning with my asscheeks and the backs of my legs giving me bloody hell. It was so encouraging, I did a full half hour today. Tomorrow, it won't feel so encouraging, I can tell that much right now.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

it's done

Last night, I said goodbye to Sid and dropped him off at the pier.

I make it sound so simple. But it was one of the hardest things I've ever done, and I'm so glad that I'll never have to go through it again. All day I had been telling myself that I wouldn't cry, not even when he said goodbye to the cats, because that always chokes me up.

I cried. If I hadn't thought he'd turn around and look, I'd have sat in the car and bawled. He kept saying "don't cry" through his own tears, so what the hell was I going to do? Laugh? I have nothing but respect for the families who go through this with's hard enough to make sense of this, myself, without having to explain it to a child.

The cats know something is amiss. I didn't get home from the pier until 1 AM, and I was so tired I just left the bedroom door open. The cats came in there and were smelling around and wailing and trying to climb in Sid's dresser drawers. They know. No one can convince me otherwise.

Part of me is relieved. I don't have to fear the goodbye anymore, it's done.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

two weeks

Sid was home for two weeks, on leave, and my hard drive fried during the same time, so yeah. Much fun. I feel like I can't blog or do any of the things I want to when he's around sometimes, because he gets to peeking over my shoulder and asking me what I'm doing...and I don't like that. Really don't like that, but no amount of asking him to stop gets it done. So I deal.

Anyway, hard drive fried. So when we ordered a new one, we just went ahead and got more RAM and a new power supply to go with it (the video card was kind of wonky with the power supply we had) and my "new computer" is quite spiffy.

Come to find out that there's a possibility the deployment isn't going to be six months. It might be three months at sea, three months back home, and then another three months back at sea. Or they might not be going out at all. The ship is slated to leave port in about a week, and nobody knows what in the motherfuck is going on. Lovely. This ranks up there with the time they called Sid the night before the boat left and told him he wasn't supposed to be aboard. Typical military bullshit.