Dear Jakey,

Onwards through the fog. I woke up this morning thinking about that phrase. And I tried to remember when I first heard it or started saying it. It makes me think that it was a lifetime ago, maybe back when I was 20 and first started working at Zoland Books. I’m not really sure but I feel like that was a quote or statement from another small press we used to work with. Who really knows? I certainly don’t remember. All I know is I woke up with that thought in my mind and how perfect it is.

It seems that several times a year I reach a true fog. It’s impossible to really put into words and it is impossible to expect anyone to understand. And your birthday this year was tough, tougher than I expected (although maybe I think that every year). So we got away and had a beautiful three days in Lake Placid. We knew you approved when Daddy saw the cardinal bright and early Saturday morning outside our room. And it’s impossible not to think of you approving when you seem so present. When we can walk by the beach where I sat with you and the restaurants we brought you. And the parking lot where Kir and I thought the volvo got stolen when you and Ethan and Ollie were all small.

But no matter how lovely our time was, your actual birthday is hard. There is no way to not feel the void and to not feel like it is all wrong. Like somehow I got the short end of the stick and I don’t understand why. We bought a basketball hoop for outside. Last year we bought the xbox. My hope being that a family birthday gift on your behalf will keep the day lighter or more positive but it all remains the same. Hard.

At some point yesterday though, sitting on the baseball field, watching Ethan play and chatting with Johanna and being out among the world again I felt a weight lift. And I was grateful for all the time we had together and for the lessons you taught about bravery and not quitting. I can’t quit on this life because I am sad. And today I am a little better. I have more JHFH work to do to get ready for our Board of Directors meeting. I have our event to wrap up.  I have a delivery to look forward to on Friday and Daddy’s birthday on Thursday. Good things are happening here Jakey, I just wish you were here with us.

Enjoy being 9.

With love,