A couple weeks ago, John stood in the laundry room folding yet another pile of teeny-tiny onesies while I cleaned the kitchen.
Seemingly out of the blue, he turned to me and asked, “Are you ever going to write about Emmett? All the stuff at the end?”
I answered as honestly as I could. “It’s too hard.”
And it is. It still is.
The thing is, the end has to be separated from the rest. The end was like all ends: sad, painful, not unexpected, but entirely surprising. He had terminal cancer. He didn’t die of terminal cancer.
His decline happened so fast.
That was the diagnosis, and maybe I’ll write about that some day and share our experience because sometimes first-hand helps when you’re going through something so significant, but that’s the part that needs to be detached from the rest. Right now, it’s too hard. It’s not what I wanted for him. He deserved better.
I miss him.
That is the singular, simple truth: I miss Emmett.
When John and I had that conversation, one of the things I said was that I was struggling to write blog posts. My role here is to tell our stories, for better or for worse, but I lost the thread. Without Em, I don’t know what the story is anymore. It all started with him. He was Chapter One.
Of course, it’s the same story, just a much later chapter.
Right now, in fact, it’s 10:27 PM. I’m sitting on the floor of the living room with my laptop, just waiting for Violet to wake up. She needs one more bottle then she’ll sleep until 5 or 6 am, so I’m waiting.
Newt buried herself under the comforter when John went to bed.
Cooper… well… Cooper alternates. Some nights, he’s so exhausted from his long day of Violet-minding that he crashes as soon as his head buries under the covers. Other nights, he can’t let his guard down and waits up until it’s really time for her to go down.
And I think that’s where we are right now: The Cooper Chapter.
Maybe I’ll write about degenerative myelopathy someday.
But, for now, there’s so much to tell about Cooper. He’s changing so much, you guys. We had a day at the park, this past Sunday, when there were zero freak-outs. Not a one. And there were lots of people there! (OK, no dogs, but… we’ll take what we can get.) His recall has become rock-solid, and he’s taking his job of Violet’s watch dog seriously.
So, even though I’m still. so. sad. and a big part of me still won’t accept that my Emmett is gone, I am super excited on Cooper’s behalf to be turning the page and diving into his chapter.
It’s going to be a good one.