Dear Jakey,

So it has been a full year, almost to the minute that you left me. I am actually sort of happy that some of the exact times are lost on me – it was around 6:30 that things got ugly last year and I think it was around 8:01 that your death certificate said you died. But I am not 100% sure and I am not looking it up. I am trying to not get lost in the details of what happened to us 365 days ago. But as I sit on the couch at 8:18 on December 8th, my mind can’t help but wander back to that night. I can’t believe it’s been a year and I can’t believe tomorrow will be the first day where  I can’t think about what we did a year ago. A year ago from this moment (give or take a few minutes) you died. And a year ago tomorrow and all the days that follow are us figuring out life without you. We will have to look back to over a year ago to remember our real life time together. And while I was anxious to get through today, it continues to just be heartbreaking to now think that I can’t look back at our time together in the last year.

We had a “party” at Cantina last night for you. It was really for Jake’s Help for Heaven but we all know that wouldn’t exist without you. You made all this happen for us and for those we have been able to help. And it was really quite powerful to see the amount of people- from all parts of our life- that came out to support JHFH and us. And to pay homage to you. And Daddy and I did our very best to thank everyone and let them know how they have helped us get through this past year. And I kept it together until the very end when I just couldn’t talk about it anymore. I just hit the wall at the very end and needed to get home, put your brother to bed and hug him extra tight and fall asleep. But I was really filled with so much love yesterday – love for you and what you taught us, love for Daddy and his strength, love for Steve and Spunky who travelled to see you (and who we think of us your godparents), love for Abue and G-Pa for spending just as much time there as we did, love for Karen, Cynthia, Ann, Kate and Cait who were totally your people and came out for you, love to all of our friends and the amazing support system we have. And love to Heath and Jeff, who know first hand many of the lessons that you taught us through their Tessa and who pretty much gave us Cantina to host a party in your honor.

I woke up this morning crying and not wanting to get out of bed. It wasn’t what I expected and it was rougher than I even imagined it to be. And for the first time in a long time, I laid there thinking that I really just didn’t want to get out of bed. And I so understood how so many people can just crumble under a loss like this. And I came as close as I think I ever had to just staying in bed. But then  Daddy gave me a hug and sat with me and I remembered I wasn’t alone. And Uncle Steve was downstairs. And Ethan woke up in a super mood. And Spunky was here. And I had to make breakfast and pack lunch and get everything together. And I was thankful for all that was still here for me. And I didn’t stop thinking about you all day but I knew you gave me (and lots of others) strength to carry on. And that is what all I am trying to do.