I get to sit next to Sam's flowered shower curtain while Solly takes a bath.
I think about all the baths I sat through for Sam.
I think about all the bathtimes I might not have appreciated. Did I rush him? Did I rush through? Did I fully appreciate and enjoy each moment? I'm sure I often said, "hurry up" or "are you done yet?" Sam's last bath was in Orlando. He was skin and bones, and it hurt me to watch him climb in and out of the tub. But I sat with him and didn't rush him and I tried not to cry.
So there are bubble baths. They are like a balm to the soul, really.
Maybe you know that Sammy had a pet turtle.
His name is Speedy. He joined our family last year, right after Sam's treatment was complete.
I'm not a pet person. Turtles are a lot of work. At least they don't need to be walked on freezing cold mornings. But it's still a lot of work. Sam loved having a pet turtle. So it was okay.
In the few weeks at home between returning from RonMac and Sam's relapse, he spent a lot of time sitting in front of Speedy's habitat, trying to figure out what would get the turtle's attention. But for the most part, he's a turtle. So he didn't respond. Sam didn't stop trying. He was sure that Speedy likes red Legos better than blue ones. (Sam wasn't allowed to touch him, something crazy about a compromised immune system.)
Speedy went to a new home this week. No one really loved him here like Sammy did. Each morning, when I fed him his organic spring mix, I cried a little. I was ready, right away, to find Speedy a new home. He wasn't a sweet reminder, like the shower curtain. His presence was difficult and painful...the poor little creature.
I'm grateful to our friends (one of whom was a special pal to Sammy, so it's even better) who have given Speedy a new home, a home that already has a fish tank and a lot of love for a little turtle who just likes his purple lettuce leaves and (probably) doesn't know that his previous BFF has died.
But we know.
It's nothing compared to the empty space in our lives....