Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss & Love
deeply embedded in both objects, I swore I wouldn’t let them go until I’d sniffed every last bit of her from them. It was remarkable how the smell filled me with hope—hope that I’d be able to sleep through the night, hope that there’d be a dream during which Liz was still alive in my mind. I ached for just one moment in which this wasn’t my reality. As I drifted off, I hoped I’d wake up the next morning realizing that this had all been an awful nightmare. Sleep was an escape. Plus I was so fucking exhausted that I couldn’t have kept my eyes open even if I’d wanted to.
    Sometime around 2:00 a.m., I woke up to my phone ringing.
    “Is this Mr. Logelin?”
    “Yeah. Who is this?”
    It was a woman from an organ donation organization. “Mr. Logelin, we’re so sorry to hear about your loss. We’d like to talk to you about organ and tissue donation.”
    This was not how I wanted to wake up: not only was I robbed of that one hopeful dream, but it was by a woman looking to exploit my worst nightmare for someone else’s gain. It was an awful thing to think, and I knew it then, but I couldn’t help it. I was a little out of my mind.
    “How soon does this need to be done?” I asked.
    “Procurement needs to take place within twenty-four hours,” she replied.
    Twenty-four hours? “Ma’am. My wife hasn’t even been dead twelve hours. Is there any way we can talk about this in the morning?”
    “Sure. We’ll call you back at nine a.m.”
    I was pissed off and hung up the phone. “Twenty-four hours?” I asked out loud, waking my mom.
    “What, honey?”
    “Nothing, Mom. Go back to sleep.”
    I understood the time sensitivity, but all I could think about was the lack of sensitivity shown to me. A more spiteful person would have told them to fuck off, but as I tried to get back to sleep, I thought about what Liz would want in this situation. We had never talked about organ donation, but she had a donor sticker on her driver’s license and had encouraged me to place one on mine as well. I knew what I had to do, and before I passed out again, I took a little comfort in knowing that Liz’s death might actually help others live.
    My phone rang again the next morning at nine o’clock on the dot, and I knew who it was. To spare Liz’s parents the pain of having to listen to one side of the negotiation for their daughter’s organs and tissue, I excused myself from the breakfast table and took the call in the lobby of the hospital.
    I slumped down in a chair near the information desk and started answering the woman’s questions. No, Liz didn’t have any tattoos. Yes, we had traveled extensively, including to countries with plenty of blood-borne illnesses and mad cow disease. No, she was not an intravenous drug user. Yes, we’d had unprotected sex in the last year, pointing out the fact that she died the day after giving birth. No, she didn’t have hepatitis, AIDS, or any other diseases. Yes, I’d be willing to donate any organs or tissue deemed usable. With each question and subsequent answer came another wave of nausea. This was exactly why I wasn’t eating.
    I watched as nurses and doctors walked through the lobby on their way to whatever part of the hospital they worked in; I was paying special attention to the female employees. I kept thinking, I need to marry her. This wasn’t about needing a second income, love, or sex. And it certainly wasn’t about replacing Liz. It was a reaction to my fear of raising a premature baby on my own, and my inability to be a good dad—and now mom, too—to my daughter. It wasn’t really even about me; I was convinced that Madeline needed a woman in her life as soon as possible so she didn’t grow up with only the parental influence of her derelict father. In my estimation, my mind was worth roughly half of what Liz’s was. Shit. Madeline has one quarter of a parent.
      
    The bad thing about the Internet is that word travels fast. So fast, in fact, that the day

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