Dear Jakey,

It has been a very long time since I have written to you, since Tuesday I think. I am sorry about that. I have had so many different letters written in my head to you about so many different things. About your brother, about my red cardinal theory, about our 4 months apart and just all the things in my head right now. I hate doing hodge podge letters to you but it is the only way I can catch us up.

Ethan must be making you feel pretty proud when you look down on him. He really has been such an incredibly good boy lately, minus the normal 6-year-old boy shenanigans. Last Wednesday, he surprised me by wanting to go see you not only at our normal before tae kwon do time but after as well. He ran over to tell you that he thought he was going to get a stripe at this next class. I loved that it was totally driven by him. And it was such a normal type thing to want to tell a brother about, yet such a unnormal way to have to do it. But anyways, it makes me feel good how present you are in our lives. It breaks my heart how we have to suspend any “normal” way of being to have you there but I love that you are still very much here with us. One of the days, I don’t remember when, Ethan wished you a happy birthday. I told him it wasn’t your birthday yet, he said he knew but wanted to know what we were doing it for it. I wasn’t really sure but told him that you would have been 5. He corrected me to say that you would be 5, only in Heaven. We are going to send you balloons, I asked from where and he said from our house and your grave. It might even work out that your bench and headstone are ready to be put it by then. And then we could really have a birthday party. If I remember correctly, when you died someone sent us a card that told us a tree was coming in your memory. And I think it was early May too. Lots of ways to figure out how to celebrate.

It is so strange, Jakey. This week also brought your 4 month anniversary. I had my dates all wrong this week and thought the 8th was actually Thursday. I was upset on Wednesday night thinking that it was coming up and then Daddy reminded me the 8th was Friday. Anyways, Friday didn’t seem so bad until I realized Saturday that as much as I was thinking about it leading up to it, on the day of I made myself not think about it and that in a way was almost worse. Nothing in these last 4 months has been able to really just be what it seems for me. Maybe I over think things but I just can’t stop thinking about you. And seeing you. Sometimes it is good and I feel happy and other times it is just miserable. And I have noticed a few things about myself. Not all that I am happy with. I think that my last few weeks have been jam-packed and I sometimes tell myself that this because now I can do things  I couldn’t do before – I can go to lunch, I can work, I can schedule things during the day. But there is a case of overdoing it, and has always been my personality I am overdoing things now. I need to and want to slow it down. Not every day needs to be filled with lunches and appointments and fun. While Friday was a hugely fun day with friends, I missed out on thinking about what the day really meant to me. I had wanted to have a quiet night at home with Daddy while Ethan slept at Abue and G-Pa’s and thought we would catch up on True Blood. While a weird thing to do it was something we did when Ethan was not home and we had you to snuggle with. While True Blood was probably completely inappropriate for you, we didn’t think you minded. Especially since you just snuggled on me. Anyways, instead of that I had a party for one (well, actually a party for many), drank too much wine and didn’t think about it until the next day and that made me even sadder. So, I promise to do better and just deal better. While I will still have fun, because I know that is important too, I want to leave  more time for just us – you and me. Me to think about you. Me to be sad. Me to remember. And not try to be so busy that it sneaks up when I am trying to sleep and just seems worse.

On another note entirely, you know how I feel about birds. And how often they are around and how close it makes me feel to you. I don’t know if I told you this or not but on one of my long training runs I noticed a red cardinal. I made a joke to Daddy that it was stalking me! And then I secretly hoped it was you. I remember talking to Mrs. Somoza once and she told me that she had a couple of situations where she saw a bluejay and she thought it was her brother. I kind of like the idea of making you all birds because then I feel you more often but the idea of you also being a specific one seems more special when it does happen! Anyways, I had two days last week when I was really sad leaving you – once alone and once with Ethan. The one time you (as red cardinal) flew right close in front of the car and sat on a branch next to me. I took a picture, not very clear but just to try to capture the moment. And then once with Ethan. We were pulling out and he (you) flew in front of us. I stopped the car abruptly and Ethan finally saw you. We’ll see where this goes. But a red cardinal fits. The color of your fire truck, a color you looked so good in and the color of your casket.

I love you so much buddy. We all do. It is hard to be here without you and navigate life. It is hard to know what is just life happening and what is happening because of what happened to us. Either way, I wish you joy nad happiness in Heaven until we meet again.