Oh, Jake.

I am currently staring at Jake. I don’t know about others but after a cancer diagnosis, staring time picks up. Since Jake doesn’t know he has cancer, he probably just thinks I’m stalking him. He’s so vain, he probably thinks this blog post is about him.

I don’t think about his cancer all the time, he and I have agreed to just exist (ok fine, I decided for him). Every now and then reality knocks and I’m reminded our time is going to be cut short. I’m not counting months, but I know it’s coming. I watch that rear left leg falter and I’m reminded that sadness is looming around the corner.

Losing Jake, feels impossible on its own.  Jake is my  baby, I don’t know if that is because he is little or because he needs me so much or because he wears diapers or because I have to carry him. He is my little, big baby. Jake is also a connection to Melvin. He is the only living creature who loves Melvin as much as I do. There is the difficult reality that both Jake and Melvin will be gone.  I’ve committed to letting Jake be an only dog for the time he has left so there will come a day that I walk into this house and there are no dogs.  And that feels…well it feels a little impossible.

These moments, where all these realities collide, they don’t own the day.  We are in fact, enjoying spring, finding reasons to laugh and living like cancer is not our roommate. I am operating under the assumption that I will be changing his diaper for many, many more months to come.  Joy still owns this joint.

I’ve been working on a project with Melvin photos and videos.  It’s a win, win – I end up with something special and it has helped me so much to go through our lifetime of photo memories. From the moment I got Melvin, I felt we were destined to be together.  In going through the photos I realized that Jake and Melvin, were also meant to be.

Jake continues the completion of my life for me, but I think in order to complete Jake, I just had to get him (in this life) to Melvin. Not that being with me hasn’t been spectacular (doy!), and obviously as Jake’s ONLY CARETAKER I’m needed, but Jake’s greatest joy, was always Melvin. It is so evident in the photographs. Melvin gave him calm, and confidence and purpose and love. Melvin made Jake whole. Even the behaviorist said that, Melvin healed Jake in a way we will never understand.

I was Melvin’s joy. Melvin is Jake’s joy. They are my joy. No matter what happens, we won.

When Jake’s time does come (in hopefully 55 years), it will be so bittersweet.  He’ll be leaving me but at that very moment, he will see Melvin.  And for Jake, that will be everything.

These boys, they give me strength, even when they are breaking me. Love is strange and strong and for us, always worth it.

Lastly, life lessons can occur at any hour of the day. Jake poop’d in the middle of the night last night. I leapt up to clean up and ended stepping barefoot into it. I started laughing hysterically. I don’t know if was insanity or truly a commitment to love, but I realized these moments, even the crap moments, our life is unfolding. Life doesn’t wait for us to live it. You have to march forward, through the poop, and keep giving it all that you have. Hold on tight, cause it might just be glorious!

Happy weekend!

My new cuff bracelet…IMG_8089

Jake’s new outdoor bed (still too cold to go outside) and I think the mat being there (it goes outside too) is poetic.  We say ‘nope’ to cancer! IMG_8058

21 thoughts on “Oh, Jake.

  1. You are such an inspiration to me. Melvin and Jake are so lucky to have you. If only all dogs had owners like you. I’m going home to hug my two mutts.

  2. I’m typing this through tears. There is such joy in this post. Joy that you shared Melvin with us and you’re sharing Jake. I love looking at his squishy face and butt. So much to love there. Even with this Joy, my heart is breaking for us all (please forgive me, but I’m including everyone that reads this blog, because you know it’s true). We will miss reading the tail of Jake and miss seeing those pictures. I really don’t count crying until a tear runs down my face, so now it’s official. I’m crying. I’m pretty selfish though. Give that baby a big hug from Auntie Susu and tell him that I love him,(Yes, I have appointed myself as his auntie) and hug yourself for me too. I’m thinking that you could use a hug or 10. I am counting the hours to go home and give my kiddos a big hug.

    • This made me laugh and cry at the same time! We have a new Aunt, yipppeeeeee! Thank you, for following along and for carrying the load of joy and grief. You have made our day on more than several occasions! Hugs right back attcha!

  3. Oh my, I’m all teary now. Happy tears and sad tears at the same time, for Jake, for you and for those of us who love both of you.

    The thought of Jake seeing Melvin again just makes me feel so hopeful.

    You are so strong to focus on the joy, I admire you for that.

  4. The bracelet is gorgeous, and I just love Jake’s expression in that photo. Nope is how I sometimes feel as well and why get out of bed if you don’t really have to. Love and hugs to you both 🙂

  5. Please don’t think I am strange when I say this since we have never met but I love you. I love how you love your dogs. I love how you put a positive spin on even the crappiest things. I love how you share it all with us. Thank you so much. I think reading your blog makes me a better person. I pass all the love on to my students.

    • I LOVE YOU BACK! This made me laugh and then it made me so happy! Thank you for following along and investing in our story. It’s funny, I always tell the boys they make me a better person so most of the credit probably goes to them.

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