Dear Jakey,

I have been thinking lately about traditions. We have started so many since you’ve been gone. We come to Montreal every December to spend time and remember you away from the hoopla at home. We spend Christmas in Aruba and your birthday in Lake Placid. We host our Cantina fundraiser around your anniversary in December and the annual fun day around your birthday in May. All these new traditions help us keep going.

We are in Montreal as I write this.In anticipation of tomorrow ~ December 8th. What used to be a normal day is now a day associated with only the worst.  And this year has extra hardship attached to it in that it means you will be gone longer than you were here. 5 years.

This fall we spend a lot of time at home. More time than usual. While tradition isn’t quite the right word, we have definitely traveled a lot more since you’ve been gone – it’s kind of like another new tradition. Sometimes it seems like it’s a bit much, but when we were home all fall it started to feel stifling. And it reminded us all about how important it is for us to get away. Even Ethan began asking when we were going somewhere. It’s like the time away allows us to recharge for being home without you. For being in your home without you. And living with all the memories of everyday life with you.

A few weeks ago was Thanksgiving. Sarena was here and as always, we got the Christmas tree the day after thanksgiving. We went to Bob’s, cut it down and decorated all day Saturday. I got to thinking how long that has been a tradition for me. And how that became a tradition for our family. And it reminded me of one of my most favorite pictures. This was the last time you came to Bob’s with us. And it made me feel better to remember that not all of our traditions are new. Many of them you were a part of and when we keep these traditions sacred we are also keeping you close.

We miss you so much Jakey – each and every day. Especially these next few days when we remember so vividly how much it hurt to lose you.

With so much love,