The Penulitimate Threshold
by muddy feet mama
“Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.”
Ruth to Naomi, Ruth 1:16 and 17
We told the kids last night that we’re out of treatment options. We held onto our October reprieve for as long as we could (calling it a chemo break) but November eventually found us and it was time to cross the next threshold with them. Every threshold, every new phase, is charged with anxiety when dealing with cancer, but it is especially true when crossing the penultimate threshold: no cure, no roadblocks or speed bumps – nothing to stop or slow the inevitable – just whatever time is left. That will lead us to the hardest conversation that we will share as parents, the one in which we prepare them for Jay’s imminent death. That is the ultimate threshold that this family of five will share. After that, we’ll be a family of four.
Thankfully Jay’s ex-partner, Quinn and Mac’s mom Erin, is willing to co-parent with me. Strange as the situation may seem, our love for our shared kids and our respect for each other will be the safety net our kids will rely on, including Stella. I’m so grateful to her for her openness.
This morning Quinn asked me two “personal” questions: When Jay dies will they (Quinn and Mac) still “hang out” with us here, and will I ever date anyone again? What I said was this: This your home, baby. You live here and we’re a family, and that’s not going to change. Your mom agrees. We’re all in this together. I love you. And no, I probably won’t date anyone. There’s no topping Jay. How could I expect to find another man that’s a mom? With that she gave me a brave smile and a hug and went to school.