I reached in the clear plastic critter cage that became home to our hermit crab "Crabby" to give him some fresh water. I immediately noticed he was in the same spot as the day before. Nudging him a little I saw his large claw laying outside the painted red spiderman shell he wore. Josiah stood next to me watching. As I turned the shell over I realized that I would have to tell my son his pet had passed away. This should not be to difficult I thought because, Josiah had lost fish before and even a salamander. He had cousins who had pets that had passed on. I knew Josiah understood living creatures all have to leave earth sometime, but I was not aware what he secretly feared already inside.
Josiah looked at me with his big beautiful brown eyes and very clearly asked me if he would live longer than his crab. I felt my eyes instantly fill with tears. My heart ached for him, my 12 year old knew his time was limited, and in some way this passing of his pet had made him question death. I am a word person, I write about feelings, pain and love but I was at a complete loss for words at this moment. All I could do was hold him and reassure him that he would most definately live longer than a crab. Inside I could only imagine the fear he lived with daily, knowing he had a terminal disease that would one day take his life. I wept holding him in my arms, I knew I would not ever be able to completely take this fear from him. At such a young age while other children planned for teen years he was already accepting that Duchenne would someday take his and his brothers life. I did not sleep that night and cuddled next to Josiah while he fell asleep. Listening to him breath, I also was learning to accept that one day he would be taken from me by Duchenne.
Somehow Duchenne always seemed to find ways to remind us of its constant presence. There is so much devastation and fear it brings to its victims. Never ceasing in its progression to grasp at our emotions.