I write this letter to you tonight my Jakey, with lots of thoughts in my head. I just finished reading an old letter to you. One from when you were alive. And even though it was only from November it seemed like a whole entire life time ago. And this morning Ethan and I had one of the mornings that I never would have fathomed in November but now have come to cherish. We made our before school visit to you. Some mornings are just as good as they can get since you passed and Ethan and I have some nice talks with you. Other times our talks happen at night but those sometimes make me sad and they seem harder. All seems better in the light of day.
Anyways, before we even started talking about you I was thinking about way back when you were in my belly. I may be thinking more about that time since we leave for Aruba in a few days. The last time I was there you were in my belly. Anyways, I was looking at your headstone and I was thinking about what an impact you have made. Your dates are so sad to me – it just wasn’t enough time, yet this morning I was thinking about how from the very beginning you were really destined for greatness. When Daddy and I were thinking about names for you, it really came quite easy. Jake came up as an idea and we were both pretty much sold on it. We both wanted it just Jake – and even when people always tried to make you a Jacob, you never were. You always were Jake. We thought is sounded like a strong name yet without any pretentiousness. And that was you – as strong as they come and with such a way about you – a way that never made anyone feel bad, rather you made people feel good. And I remembered how we didn’t know whether you would be a boy or a girl, (yet somehow I knew you would be a boy). But we had a girl name picked too -Jade Alexis. And it wasn’t even planned to be the girl version of Jake Alexander. It just was how things worked out. And the funny part about it all was that when Ethan was in my belly our name for a girl was the opposite – Alexis Jade. We changed it for you because I didn’t want a girl to end up with a name that could be too girly – and Alexis could end up being Lexie and that wasn’t strong enough for you. So you would have been Jade – a name you couldn’t mess with. And Jake, we just knew you were going to be so strong. We just didn’t know the details back then.
Anyways, I was thinking about all that this morning when Ethan started talking to you. He was telling you how every time he comes now he likes to do a handstand or cartwheels for you. He then started reading your headstone the way he likes to do and while I am not really sure how it happened he had a memory. I love when his memories come out unsolicited because they just seem so much more real. He was talking about how your favorite game was hide and seek. And he talked about playing it with Kate and how you would be in your chair with wheels. And it was such a simple thing but such a happy time. I miss it.
And later today I had an appointment. We were making small talk and the normal, routine question came up – “how many kids to you have?” That is easy enough to answer – “2”. But then is when things get tricky. She asked about ages. I said “5 & 6”. And she talked about how great to have kids so close together. And I felt weird. Sort of bad because it reminded me of when I used to think about having to tell people about how you were sick or disabled or whatever word it would be. And how hard that was for me sometimes. And how now I would give a billion dollars to tell people that. And not have that awful pit in my stomach about having to tell people that my youngest son is dead. I just don’t know how that will ever be any different. And it makes me happy to be around my people, or rather, your people Jake. It is reason why I don’t want to really meet new people or go to my high school reunion or any of that. It just is too hard.
But Jakey, I love you more than life. Ethan asked me tonight for another brother. I told him that wasn’t going to happen. He recovered pretty quickly and came to terms with the fact that he has a brother but has to wait to get to Heaven to be able to play with you. He asked me if he died before me to bury his pokeball with him. I told him that I would but that would never happen. He asked how I knew and I said I didn’t but it was what I prayed for every night. Jakey, watch over us. Especially when Daddy and I are away. Keep us all safe here on Earth.
I miss you so much buddy. I long to hold you and snuggle. I miss you.