There have been so many ways in which people have asked to honor our son, but one message from a dear friend shortly after he died took my breath away. She wanted our permission to use his name for a little boy in a series of books she is writing. How could we say no? Such a gift it is to see our son kept alive in the pages of her beautiful writing. But she hasn’t just kept Caemon alive through her books. As you will see, like many who loved him but didn’t know him, Caemon has wiggled his way into a number of facets of her life. Below, I share her tribute:
I never got to meet Caemon. I remember reading Timaree’s post when she revealed the secret she’d been carrying and following along as he caught up and passed his stuffed crocodile in pictures she posted. Every time I read about him, I hoped that someday we’d get our kids together to play. His death hit me deeply, which my eldest saw and asked about. I talk to him about how sad I am that Caemon’s moms don’t have him anymore. We wear our orange Take a Chomp out of Leukemia tees. The most significant effect that Caemon has had on me as a parent has been to show me how blessed I am when I am drowning in the challenges of parenting. When I’m up at three in the morning because one of my kids has wet the bed, I remember Caemon and am able to see how lucky I am. I am a better, more patient parent because of Caemon.
I still grieve that I never got to meet Caemon and am so honored that you have let me use his name in the novel I’m working on. Finding the right name for a character is tricky business, and I’d been having as much trouble thinking of a name for the first-born for the couple who started my writing career as my wife and I had finding names for our own children. When I did the math from book one to three and realized that my characters’ boy was close to three, I knew his name had to be Caemon. I’ve been surprised by how much he sneaks into scenes and am always delighted by his presence and the way he shapes the lives of the characters around him. In that way, I see his legacy alive–how powerful your boy is at shaping so many lives. That is what I want to honor.
If you would like to see what our friend is writing, check out her books here under Laina Villeneuve. Her forthcoming third book, Such Happiness as This, is the book in which Caemon will be featured.