Dear Jakey,

Wow, a lot of time has passed. More time than I am comfortable with but that is the strange thing about this new life of mine. There is no real ability to slow down the passage of time. I think I depended on you for that. You helped me and us know when to slow down. And now it often seems as though life is just zipping past me. Last time I wrote you, school had just ended and we were visiting Sarena in CA. And now, it is 5 months later and we are quickly approaching Thanksgiving. And while so much has happened in those months, much stays the same. We all try to make meaning of the world without you. And for me, it continues to be a struggle. I need to remind myself to embrace the moments and not be angry. And I need to remember to keep my mouth shut and let people enjoy their moments when I still sometimes want to ruin their moments because mine have been taken away.

Sometimes it doesn’t seem possible that we are approaching 3 years, yet other times it seems like so much more time has passed. Especially when I watch your brother. He was so little when you left. And now he is so big in so many ways. He is so tall and wears his hair longer than ever (which I love and I think Daddy secretly does too). But he is also big in other ways – he is his own person, struggling to figure out what he likes and what he is good at and who he is. Yet, he remains such a snuggler and on most nights we talk about how we wish you were here snuggling with us. I talk about when I used to bring you into his bed and when he would read to you while I showered in hopes that he remembers those times. I am not always sure that he does. Seeing the passage of time through a growing child is pretty profound, particularly when your other child is stuck at 4. And I don’t really mean that you are stuck, because I know in Heaven you are 7 but I can’t always wrap my head around that either. I still see you as you were when you left; my incredibly cute, skinny boy who I could snuggle so hard and that face you would make me each time I did. The almost sneer but the look of love in your eyes. The look that made it all okay and made me know you were with me.  As I sit here and write to you (on a couch you don’t know – which is a whole other difficult thing about the post-you life) I can almost feel you and definitely see that sneer, that face I love so much. I hope you are getting that much love in Heaven, my sweet boy.

I always thought this first letter back would be so long but now I am not sure it will be. I’ve gotten out of practice and as I write I think I know why. It is hard being here in this spot writing to you. It is hard to let my mind focus on just you. I have let myself get distracted (oh, so distracted Jakey) and keep myself running all over the place. It helps but I miss this. I miss this quiet of just you and me. And I miss the moments it started – I miss that first letter I wrote you (on the couch you knew) and all those letters with you right next to me.  I miss when I thought I would be writing these letters to you as I watched you grow and fight your fight. And I need to get back to accepting that while these letters have shifted and are no longer what I intended them to be, they are important and they help. They are helping this morning as I sit and let myself think of only you.