I posted this last night upon hearing of Caemon's passing. The news knocked the wind out of me, leaving me stunned and disoriented, so I came here. I needed to be "with" other people who were hurting too, and it is this same need that brings me back tonight, because Jodi and Timaree are hurting, as they will be for some time, and I want to be here, if and when they come looking for more hands to hold.
Caemon could have been any of our children. He was our child. All of us who have been a part of this community for years have literally dreamed of, conceived, and raised our children together. I "met" Timaree and Jodi long before any of our sons were born, and we willed them into this world together. My life has not gone on as normal since I got the news. I have been sad, edgy, and distracted. Last night, I got a nasty burn on my arm when I leaned against a hot baking sheet I'd just taken out of the oven. It still stings and reminds me I'm not all here. I know I was supposed to hug my own children closer last night, but I found myself holding E at arm's length instead. Every time I looked at him I felt a swell of sadness and vulnerability that threatened to carry me away. I went to sleep thinking of Caemon, I woke up thinking of Caemon, and after the few and far-between moments that my attention drifted to something else today, the snap back a moment later was like a fresh punch to the gut. He is gone. There is nothing you can do to change it. Opening myself up to the grief feels like looking directly at the sun. I can only do it for a moment before I have to shut my eyes and turn my head away. And yet, once my eyes have stopped burning and the white spots have disappeared, I look back at it again. I know that whatever I am feeling now is but a shadow of what Jodi and Timaree are going through, and it feels like the least I can do to bear witness to that somehow. I do not know how they are finding the strength to open their eyes and take a breath each morning.
Here's what I do know: I know that they showed an awe-inspiring amount of grace and strength of character throughout Caemon's hard-fought battle. I know that they bathed their son in more positive, healing energy than I could have generated on my best day, and they did it day in and day out, in the face of the most terrifying of circumstances. I know that they helped Caemon to live his too-short life to the fullest, and that they squeezed as much love into each minute they had with him as anyone could have. I know that Caemon knew all of this too. I know that if anyone can get through this, it's them. And I know that I am only one of hundreds upon hundreds of people who are offering a shoulder as they take their first steps down a path no parent should ever have to walk.
I will never forget Caemon - his piercing blue eyes, his cheeky grin, his old soul - he was so clearly a boy who could light up any room. I watched him grow first in his mothers' hearts, then alongside his stuffed crocodile, and then in the leaps and bounds of toddlerhood and beyond. I read along as Timaree narrated his burgeoning love affair with appliances, but it wasn't until she shared the picture of him snuggling the hair clippers that I truly understood it's depth. I think I actually laughed out loud. Through stories and pictures, Caemon was able to touch people all over the world. I consider myself lucky to be one of them.
I know I haven't been the most active blogger lately, but my new year's resolution to post more will have to wait as I observe a week of blog silence in honor of Caemon and his moms.