Dearest Rachel –
Some nights, getting Chompers to bed isn’t so difficult. Give him his pill, take him out, he pees, bring him in, set him down, give him his bedtime treats, and let him position himself (I am starting to learn that, regardless of what he’s truly capable of, he’d prefer to at least try to get where he wants to go under his own power. It’s a delicate balancing act). I still stay up, checking my mail and my torrents, as I wait to see if he falls asleep, or cycles through the indications of dissatisfaction that I have to attend to.
Tonight was – is – not one of those nights. For whatever reason, he can’t seem to find the position that he’s comfortable enough to sleep in. It probably doesn’t help that he’s crossed his back legs together so tightly that you might swear he’d braided them together. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t sleep with my legs twisted around each other like that. But pulling them apart serves as only a temporary remedy, as he takes a few steps and falls over, landing with his legs just as tangled as before.
And even if he does stay up, there’s the fact that he keeps wanting to get right up to your bed and nightstand, places where he never had access to before. Even as I clear more stuff from your side of the room, he keeps trying to get in further, like he’s thinking “someone in there is the perfect spot, it’s just got to be!” At some point, it seems like he’s trying to dig his way in or under your side of the bed. If it weren’t for the late hour making this so frustrating, it would be ridiculously funny.
But in the process, he keeps digging up your stuff. I’ve cleared most of the newspapers from around the area, so most of what he digs up are old tissues, some clothing, half a dozen Bible study notebooks (which, Lord love him, are invaluable to me, because you never kept a journal. All I have in your words and notes are these books… and twelve years of sermon notes… and a few cards you wrote stuff in… and your Bible that you marked up copiously… okay, there’s a lot, but it’s so scattered)…
…and these things:
It’s not the first time I’ve found glowsticks by your bed (and considering how much is still left to go around here, it probably won’t be the last. But honey, glow stick don’t last after they’re cracked. They shine for a night or so, they may last a little longer in the freezer (and Jan and I did clear a bunch of them out of the freezer previously, I should mention, but they were as long gone as these are), but they fade pretty quickly no matter what you try to do with them.
I guess you must have thought there would be some kind of hazmat situation regarding their disposal – and in any even, maybe you figured they could be revived at point in the future. I really don’t know. But it seems it’s time to let these things go.
On the other hand, both Daniel and I have plans to keep a vial of your ashes with us after we empty your urn into Schoolhouse Bay, as per your wishes. I’m not so fond of the plasticky look of these that I’d actually want to use them for it, but the shape and size is to me just about perfect. And it would be rather fitting to preserve what’s left of you in something you tried so hard to preserve yourself, something that – like you – glowed brightly in a dark night for such a short time so beautifully, but now has faded away, leaving only a remnant of what it once was.
Yes, maybe I’ll do that. What do you think, darling?
We’ll talk later. Right now, I think Chompers has finally settled down, and I ought to do likewise.