"I'm starting to forget Emma."
My nine year old son said this to me a couple of days ago.
Our old dog died last summer. She was very nearly fourteen and had had a great life but her passing was a sad event for my little family.
"I can't really remember what she looked like or the things she liked to do," he went on.
"That's perfectly normal," I replied.
"Yes, and that's why we tell stories about our loved ones who've died, to help each other remember them."
"Like the time Emma almost drowned Grandpa?"
"That's right. And you have lots of pictures, too."
That was pretty much the end of our conversation but it did put a lump in my throat.
I'm in remission but I do know what the statistics are when it comes to Stage IV breast cancer. I try not to torture myself with these but I know that I will die long before I am ready.
The thought that I might become a hazy memory to my children is something else on which I try not to dwell.
But it hurts.
This morning, I was cuddling with my youngest, covering his little head with kisses. I felt both intensely happy and very, very sad.
"Remember this moment," I wanted to whisper.