We were watching Hell’s Kitchen and Michael seemed restless. I went over and said “are you okay?” and he said, “Why don’t you become a chef?” (with the tumor he says sorta strange things sometimes). I said “I’m a lawyer, I’m an author…” and he said, “The book’s not out yet.”

I remembered that he was on his down week when the book came out. He hasn’t even seen it. Since he was having an “up” day I ran and got a copy and held it up for him to see.

He got the biggest smile on his face and just lingered there a while staring at the cover.

Then slowly he lifted his hand to give me a thumbs up and in a hoarse voice said, “Way to go dear-o.”

It’s been so long since he’s called me dear-o and I had to step behind him because the tears were forming.

I opened the book and read him the acknowledgment about him and I leaned in close to him and whispered, “I couldn’t have done this without you.” He shook it off and said, “Yes you could.” I again stepped back behind him so he wouldn’t see the tears fall.

As the days run together there are certain moments I live for; certain things I hope I’ll hear one more time. Dear-o has been one of them.

It’s been weeks since he addressed me or really talked. I almost forget what that sounds like.

Tonight I was thinking that I don’t want to forget what he sounds like…what the words are that he uses and what he says. I’m so afraid I’ll forget.

But for tonight I had it. I had him. He was there. And it was good.