Dear Jakey,

Here we are in 2011. The first new year without you. But we brought it in just the way you loved most. It was a little bittersweet because through it I just new that it was your (and mine too) favorite way to celebrate. Uncle Steve and I cooked up some yummy food. We watched movies, a little football and Mommy and Ethan fell asleep by 9:00. You would have been right in the middle of that snugglefest. But I couldn’t think of a better way to bring in 2011.

I have been spending a lot of time over the last two days thinking about how to best move forward. Without a doubt I know you have helped me tremendously through this time – I know that I am moving forward with stronger faith and a better understanding/relationship with God, I know that I am kinder and more appreciative than I even knew possible – it is amazing how the smallest act of kindness can make my day and I want to be aware of that always. I know that I am trying hard to not be angry – and not just for the obvious because it all honestly I know that I have the right to be angry and I also know it is healthy and healing to be angry – but more importantly I am trying hard not to be angry at those who say the wrong things. It is hard for people to know what to say and for the most part people are fine and we are understanding but I have been hit hard by a few words of others who treat grief as a competition and haven’t been the listeners I need.  I am working towards acceptance and I know that you will help. Lord knows the stupid things people said in front of you all the time. You handled it all with grace and I hope to be as strong.

2011 – starting Monday will also bring me closer to the work I need to do to start you foundation. I have emails to send to Dr. Browning, Thiele and Erinn Hart. I hope to get closer to a diagnosis and therefore closer to what our purpose will be. What will our mission be exactly? Time to fine tune it and get started. We will also get started on our projects – I have photo books, scrapbooks, prints, lockets and others to get in the works. In doing all that I know I will heal. I will remember all the good (and some of the bad) and the pride I have in being your momma will never fade. I will create spaces for Ethan and Daddy and I to remain as close to you as ever and treasure our 4 years, 7 months and 4 days together.

On another note, Daddy and I will spend more time together. We have always been best friends but to be honest (and you already know this since we have talked about it before) I know that Daddy missed me sometimes because you had me first. I could never put him first even when I knew I should because it was always you. I know he didn’t mind but I know it was hard on us. We are going to move forward doing things we couldn’t do. Please don’t think I am happy about it – I would ( and so would he) prefer less time for us just to have you back. But we will do things so that you know your death wasn’t in vain. We will take Ethan to Disney. We will go to the Rockhouse. We will finally celebrate Daddy’s, Uncle Steve’s and Rob’s 40th with a trip – (Christy, let’s plan it! )

None of it will be easy and I suspect I will cry throughout it all (as I am now) but I am trying to make you proud and live my life in a way that keeps your spirit alive – your spirit will always be with us and you are experiencing and will continue to experience things your body wouldn’t let you do here on Earth. I love you so much my boy. You are and will always be my greatest accomplishment – being your mother is the best I can be.

Happy New Year my little peanut. Your first in Heaven. Enjoy it.

The most love of all,