Dear Jakey,

After a 7 year hiatus, I returned to writing to you earlier this month. It was done away from this blog and really gave me a chance to think about all the things that these letters meant to me and why I stopped writing. It was like dipping your toe in the water before you just say fuck it and jump in. Well, now I am back. And something about it feels so good. When I stopped writing it was for a lot of different reasons but a big one was that what started as a way to communicate with you morphed into a way that people gauged (and judged) how I was feeling. And I struggled with having to worry about how people took what I was saying. But now, it is different. Now it is back to you and me. And I have missed it so much.

2023 is very close to coming to an end. For what feels like the first time in a while I am really excited about welcoming in a new year. For the last few years, 2023 was always a big milestone year looming ahead. I was always aware of it and all that it represented in terms of our day-to-day life changing. And then it came and Ethan graduated and went to college. As with most things, the anticipation was different (worse) than the reality. The reality is that as difficult as it was (and is) one door was supposed to close so another one could open. This is the normal circle of life. And now that we are on the other side of it, and that 2024 is just another year without any real dramatic events (other than turning 50 but that is for another time) I feel a sense of calmness entering this year that I haven’t felt in a while.

And while 2024 is the start of yet another year without you (and it is crazy that I have spent so many more years without you than with you), I am embracing all the ways we are doing such good work in your name. For years in the middle, I wanted to separate us from the work. I wanted people to embrace our work because of how good and important it is and not just because they feel bad for Daddy and me. But now, I am more comfortable with how connected it all is. How the work we do is so important but also why we do it is equally important. And you are that why. And I am back to wanting the whole world to know it. At least for today.

Hope you are as excited for 2024 as I am. Miss you more than ever.