Dear Jakey,

I have had a letter half written for over a week. And then I got stuck. Stuck mostly because I wanted to figure out how to avoid the path my letters to you had taken. When I started writing it was such a happy thing for me and such a powerful way for me to communicate and feel connected with you. And then you died and it gave me a place to deal with the myriad of feelings I felt and still feel. But somewhere along the line it became redundant. And I didn’t want to just continue to tell you about the things that I struggle with or the depth of my grief. I also realized that the way other people responded to my letters was sneaking into my subconscious and affecting my letters. And that is not what I want. This is between me and you and nobody else. So, it light of  all of those things I am coping what many are doing on facebook. Each day some people have been listing things that they are thankful for. So, that is what my letters will be for November and maybe longer. It will help me focus on what I can control and stop focusing on what I can’t control. And since it is November 7th I owe you 7 things. In no particular order:

  1. TKD.  I don’t even think you know this but I started TKD in September. Ethan loves that I started it and I mostly do too. I have been at it for about two months, twice a week and it is so outside of my comfort zone that I am actually proud of myself for doing it. I always thought TKD was such a good thing for Ethan and I now know it is not only a good thing for him but me too. And as a small add-on, I am grateful that Deb started with me and that we have gotten to be better friends through it. I am not always that great at making new friends so it is nice to get to know someone new.
  2. Heath. Last week Heath and I got together for the first time in many, many months. And although there were tears shed from both sides as our conversations touched on things so close to our hearts I was grateful for her and our friendship. I said things to her that I haven’t said out loud to anyone else. So even though we don’t have our chats often I am grateful for them. And it seems like just yesterday when she was here with me and you, just 6 hours before you left us – so I am grateful for that time too.
  3. Change – I am grateful for not being afraid of change. And this is nothing profound or deep, rather quite shallow. I became a blonde. And I am happy about it. I am grateful for finally doing exactly what I wanted and not worrying what others might think. And I happy to face change, as small as it might be.
  4. Ethan. Jakey, your brother has endless energy that at times makes me crazy. Like now – as he is throwing the football across the living room and talking incessantly, he also brings me a lot of joy. He is such a kind soul and makes me proud almost every day. He still has such an innocent enthusiasm that I appreciate and hope he doesn’t lose. And he remains so loyal to you, he comes on JHFH deliveries with us and I know it can be difficult on him. He told me he doesn’t want to make his first communion on your birthday because he likes when we just spend your day quiet and with you.
  5. Memories – each and every one I have, the good ones and the bad ones.
  6. Your dad. We are two very different people working hard to make a happy life for the three of us here on Earth and figuring out how to do it with you not here. Some days we are an amazing unit, other days it takes more work, understanding and open-mindedness on both ends to try to see each other’s perspectives but every day I love him so much and am grateful to have found him.
  7. Pictures – while it breaks my heart that there will never be another photo of you, I love that everywhere in this house I look I can see your precious face. And the pictures in my head too. I love that I can close my eyes and see you.

Jakey, I miss you so much. The pit in my stomach never goes away. I hope you know and feel our love.