Dear Jakey,

Yesterday we went back to church. For whatever reason/excuse, we haven’t gone all summer and truthfully probably not since May. And now that school is starting up again, I was really feeling that we needed to get it back on our priority list. So we did. And while I was sitting there I was thinking a lot about you and about faith. Without fail, every time I sit through mass, at one point or another I tear up. Sometimes it is what is being said but I think most often it is just the quiet and stillness and the fact that I allow myself to sit and try to feel you close. Not that I don’t do that at other times, a lot of the time but something about sitting in church seems different. As though I can take a moment to believe that you are truly hanging in Heaven with God and not be distracted by doubt or fear.

Anyways, yesterday at church I watched a brother and sister that were sitting a few pews behind us. They were older than you and Ethan are now, probably more like 10 and 11. Anyways, what stood out to me was when they went to put the offering in the children’s basket up front – he helped her because she was blind. She held onto his arm and you could see how much she trusted him and he guided her. It made me think about you and Ethan and how he was with you – patient and protective –  and how I had always pictured him continuing to be your protector. And then it made me think more about your brother and how much he has to continue to adjust to his new normal. His new normal of being an only child. I don’t think I have been as sympathetic as I could be because I never really thought about it as much as I did yesterday in church. I always enjoyed being an only child but never knew any different. Ethan spent from 15 months old to just under 6 with you as his built-in buddy. All he really knows is being a big brother to you. And now it is just him and I can understand now a little more the void in his life too. The new normal is hard on us all Jakey.

And yesterday I read a book – What Remains – and while it may seem depressing to read about death and how people handle their own tragedies – it actually helps me. I sometimes relate better to strangers’ words on paper  than those I know and love in person. The author writes “You never know when something is going to happen to change your life. You expect it to arrive with fanfare, like a wedding or birth, but instead it comes with the most ordinary of circumstances” And that is what is the most true and the most scary to me. That is what happened with you. Who knew that on a random Wednesday night, after tae kwon do, the course of my life would be forever altered? Who knew it could all change so quick and so suddenly? Who can say it won’t happen again?

With all my love and kisses,