Dear Jakey,

There are so many different things I want to write about. So many different letters have been written in my head lately but none have made it out of my head. Unlike when you first died, things are just much more muted. It isn’t the raw emotion of early on just a constant fog. And I am starting to think that the fog will never lift.

As more time passes, I do believe more and more in your presence and while I appreciate the moments and symbols of you, I am just still so crushed that you are gone. Life just really has continued and I don’t really feel comfortable with it. Like in baseball, another season just finished today and it was just so different this year. I think last year I was still in a daze because I don’t remember the season as much. This year just seemed so different – I was at every game, in the dugout with the team. And it felt so strange to not be with you and making sure you were okay. And sometimes missing the game because I stayed home with you instead. I miss so much my time with you. And some people we meet and get to know, don’t really know about you and it is so hard.  A bunch of the team boys noticed my foot tattoo and a few of them asked who Jake was. And both Ethan and I tackled that pretty well – we told them about you. And while it was awkward it was fine. A few boys asked more on other times. And some of them knew you and knew you were gone. And I was remarkably okay with a lot of the questions from the kids. What became harder was when I was asked by another dad if we just had Ethan. I didn’t know how to answer. Early on I always said no and told them about you but then it was always hard to drop it on people that you died. Not hard on me but hard on them. So this time I just said yes and changed the subject. And it made me feel like crap. But making other people feel sad and awkward also feels like crap. And there is no real way to avoid it or to know how to handle it.

I spend a lot of time thinking about what life would be like with you still here. And it makes me sad to think that sometimes I can’t really imagine what we would be doing or what you would be doing. What would you be like as a 6 year old down here? The other week I spent some time with Tessa and it was so great for me. It brought me back to my days with you. When sometimes the best thing you can do in the day is snuggle and remember what is important. You were always a solid reminder of that for me and Tessa brought a lot of those thoughts back. And as much as I loved it, I did miss you even more.

I know that all I have now are the symbols of you and I feel pretty lucky to have that. You seem to make us all aware that you are still with us and I think we all appreciate it. Walking to see you on Father’s Day morning and seeing the cardinal fly in our path gave us all a little sigh of relief. And then to see you cruise around the backyard was pretty spectacular too. And yesterday at the Cousin’s weekend when out of nowhere a few lines of Jack Johnson’s song was on the speaker at Boston Bowl. And today when my Volvo turned 100,000 miles exactly when we got to you to say goodnight and there you were: a bright red cardinal! I love you so much buddy. And I miss you so even more.