Dear Jakey,

Another long lapse between letters. No excuses other than life is hard. And this journey we are on without you is constantly changing. Just when I think I have a grip on life without you something changes, or something matters more, or something just hurts. Every morning we go to visit you before school and for the most part we see the same group of workers. And I have different relationships (which isn’t even the right word) with all of them. Some is a wave, some is a nod, some is a smile but there is something with everyone. And I have been fixated lately on what they must think. If I were them, I would feel watching this woman and her son visit her dead son’s grave every morning. And then seeing her sometimes in the middle of the day alone.  I just find myself standing on the outside looking in and I get so god damn sad for myself. And for Daddy. And for Ethan.

As you know, being my son isn’t easy. I am pretty tough and don’t particularly care what other kids are allowed to do or what they have. A lot of that you taught me because through you I learned that it didn’t matter what other kids did because all families were different. You taught us that important life lesson and it has saved us a lot of hassle – we don’t have to keep up with any other family and we frankly don’t care what they do. With that said, there are certainly times when Ethan does just want to be like everyone else – with a sibling older or younger or without the worries. And sometimes when we talk about you lately he tells me he wants to stop, he doesn’t want to talk about you or write to you or look at pictures. He sometimes covers his eyes and says it is just too sad. And it is just too sad. It is too sad to contemplate the day in and day out of life without you. But since I am me, and sometimes irrational I feel compelled to push the subject, probably more than I should. On my days to put him to bed , I talk about you and what I miss – not to make him sad but to make sure in his self-protection he doesn’t forget you. That is my greatest fear in life now – now that the real greatest fear has already happened.

The other night I pulled down one of the photo books I made of you and your time on Earth with us. Ethan was sneaking peaks but not really looking at it all. I couldn’t keep the tears back and I realized how delicate and fragile we all still are. There are pictures of you all over the house and I look at them all day. I sometimes reach out and touch them in the desperate attempt to recapture the feel of your skin or hair or breath. But looking at pictures of moments that will never again be is something all together different. Looking at our memories together does hurt and does remind us (or me) of just how unhealed we are. It is easy to think that it gets easier but it doesn’t. I think it just gets easier to push the hurt away and be busy or be distracted. I have never felt so distracted in all my life. It is like a balancing act where you never know when you will not only fall but crumble too.

And then after a day or two of having the photo book off the shelf Ethan told me that he wished every day was his birthday and that nobody died. If nobody died, he said, than you would still be here. And I realized that my fears that he will forget you were foolish. You are still with him everyday and I think pretty much on the forefront of his mind. And if he doesn’t talk about you as much as he did, he is just doing the same thing I am which is walking the line and trying not to crumble.

We love you so much buddy. I hope you are watching it all and are happy in Heaven.