Dear Jakey,

We are in Aruba now as I know you know. It has been a really nice vacation so far and you, as usual, are at the forefront of all of our minds. Ethan now has so many toys, stuffed animals, etc that are named Jake or some variation. Yesterday, he got one of those little toys that he used to play with you – not the wind up toys but the little ones that Abue always brought back from her travels – anyways, of course its name is Jakey Poo.

I have come up with so many things to write you but for some reason I seem a little stuck in getting the letters out to you. I have been doing a ton of reading lately and I wonder if I will ever read a book again that doesn’t somehow remind me of you in some way or another. And they aren’t those books about Heaven and after-death stuff. They are just regular books. One of them had a daughter that had a terrible head injury and had seizures and was in a coma. As they talked about the fear and talking to your child while in a coma and the different meds, I hated that I knew first hand what was being described – and that I knew the accuracy and inaccuracy in the meds described. One book had an adult with seizures and it made me think so much about how you felt when you had your seizures. It always made me sad that I could never relate to your pain or your discomfort. And reading about it and how awful it feels like to have seizures made me sad that you endured so much. And made me love you even more (not that I am ever sure it is possible to keep loving you more but somehow it is) because of how you persevered.

At night when I can’t sleep I think about all different parts of our life together. Last night for some reason I thought a lot about when you had a feeding tube and the doctors all were prescribing too much food at too fast a rate and you would get sick. I remember when we figured it out – the rate, the amount, the time that worked best for you. And I miss that. I miss figuring out how to care for you best. And I miss the way we communicated. You couldn’t ever tell me what you needed but we could somehow figure it out. Sometimes it took lots and lots of trial and error but we got it worked out. Until the end when we didn’t know, or I didn’t know, that your time with us was done. That makes me sad too. I wonder when or if I will ever make it through a day when I don’t think about the day you died. About the 911 call, about the ride to the hospital, about Ethan seeing all that, about Dr. Duthaler telling us you were gone and that priest praying over you and telling us your soul was already in Heaven. Every time I think about it all, I try to flood my mind with the good times and with my picture of what you look like now in Heaven. And I do think you look great but I miss you here so much.

It will be 2012 soon – another year that I won’t have you with me. We made it through 2011 without you and it is hard to believe that we will just keep plugging along. Don’t forget how much we love you and think about you all the time.

Happy New Year, with love,