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Archive for June, 2011

Talks with E

Dear Jakey,

The strangest thing just happened. I was washing dishes –  thinking about you. Daddy had just dropped us off from lunch. He called on his way up from Albany and asked if we wanted to meet for a quick lunch and we did. It was a nice treat, but of course ,it then made me a little sad. It reminded me that those kind of impromptu treats are able to happen because you aren’t with us. At lunch (we went to Circus) Ethan was particularly clingy and has been for the last few days. It made me think a little while we were there if it had anything to do with you. Which brings me back to washing dishes just a few moments ago. He was riding his scooter in the kitchen (he still does that) and he asked me what day it was when you died – Saturday or Sunday. I told him it was Wednesday. He was surprised that it was a school day. I talked about the day – about how you were with Cait after school and that I took him to tae kwon do. I told him that you were having a hard time and that when I was trying to give you your meds you spewed up that brown stuff and I told him that was when he called 911. He asked about the brown stuff again. He asked what you had eaten that was brown. And I told him nothing. I didn’t tell him what I really think it was – I always think of it as death. That that was when you told me it was over. He asked if it was poop. I said it wasn’t but we talked about how those last few days were extra hard and that your body was just so tired. And you didn’t poop or really even pee that last day. We talked about how it wasn’t a tired like we get but a deeper, much harder tired from all the work you had to do. We talked about how we don’t even think about holding our heads up but how hard you had to work to do it. And we talked about just how hard it all was for you. And then he said that you were so good at sleeping. And I said how I missed sleeping next to you. And so does he. And we talked about cuddling. Ethan said you were the best cuddler in our family. And he is right. He said that you were better than me and Daddy combined. And he is probably right. Actually he is right. We miss you so much. Every minute of every day.

Love,

Mommy

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2:1

Dear Jakey,

Your momma has a new show she is obsessed with. NY INK. And I am a little obsessed with Ami James. I somehow missed the boat the first time around with Miami Ink but I am now 100% in. And I just watched the premiere episode which I found on On Demand because I caught up most of the season in Lake George on Saturday. Anyways, there was a woman who got a tattoo of her baby who had died a few hours she was born. She had the tiniest footprints and had her name and date on it. It reminded me of both you and Nola. Tommy, the tattoo guy, was talking with the woman and he said how she was trying so hard to be positive and he asked her if he thought that she (her name was Noel) died in order for her (future) brother and sisters to live. It reminded me of today and how I sometimes wonder if you died to give Ethan a better, easier life. In a way I think you did but the truth is nothing comes for free – and the easier life he might have in some ways, is actually much harder. But it seemed somehow important. And the date of Noel’s birth and death was March 17, 2010 – a year before Jake’s Help From Heaven became an official non-profit foundation.

Today, Ethan and I went to Eastside Rec and played tennis. It was another one of those moments where I am trying pretty hard to make sure that I do things that would have been impossible for us to do last summer. I am trying to makes sure that the lessons you taught me about life I not only follow but live by. I am trying. This morning Kate wrote a comment about my last letter. She was remembering last summer when she was here a lot and we had to divide and conquer. Sometimes she stayed with you or picked you up from school and other times she was on Ethan duty. And then sometimes she had you both. Never an easy combination – the two of you. And to a degree you still aren’t – Ethan told me tonight that you told him that you wanted to make sure he got two more Pokemon cards to fit in his binder. He talks about you all the time and talks to you all the time. And still tries to make it two against one.

Miss you little buddy – so very much.

Love,

Mommy

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updates

Dear Jakey,

It has been almost a week since I wrote you. Not really sure why because I have things I have wanted to share and have been thinking about you so much lately. Thinking about and really missing you. And hoping that you know how much. I worry sometimes that you watch us from Heaven and somehow think we are doing fine without you. Anyways, please know it is not the case.

I ran the Adirondack Distance Run yesterday. It was 10 miles and it was all hills. I was not quite as fast as I would have hoped but I was also happy with it. I had gotten a little out of wack with running and focusing on things that matter to other people but not really me. I like running long distances mostly to be in my own head and mostly to think and talk to you. When I lose sight of that I really don’t enjoy running. So between the 5 days off of exercise and yesterday’s run I feel like I am back on track. I may never be a speed demon but I can get up in the morning and knock out ten miles and feel pretty good about it and for me that is enough. And I thank you for it. Without you I never would have had the focus and patience to plug along.

We also did a lot of things this weekend that really was about us learning how to be a family of 3 instead of 4. It’s hard on all of us. I think Ethan is having trouble navigating it too. Four is an even number and three is just different. When you were on Earth, usually it was you and me and Daddy and Ethan. Or vice versa. Even when all four of us were together, one of us was more focused on you. Now Ethan has all of our focus. He gets sad sort of out of nowhere and starts missing one of us if we aren’t there. And we do things we didn’t do before. We swam up in LG, went in the hot tub, and just did stuff. It is hard being in LG without you because we used that as a getaway sometimes and I just really associate being there with you. When we went to our room Saturday I almost immediately went to the fridge but soon realized there was nothing to put in except my seltzer. I always used to have to get your food and keto in there quickly.

And Jakey, we are having such a difficult time getting the cemetery to move forward with our bench placed. It is so silly and Daddy is in the center of hopefully getting it resolved. We just want your area to be done.

And Ethan finished kindergarted on Friday too. He is now a first grader. Isn’t that wild?

I will write sooner and not let time go by. I am not sure if Ethan starts camp today or tomorrow so I need to figure it out. Lots of love to you from me.

Love,

Mommy

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company

Dear Jakey,

Today started at a memorial for another Saratoga boy who died. His name was Taylor and he died one year ago today. He was a soldier in Afghanistan and he was killed by a suicide bomber. He was 20 when he died. His mommy emailed me after you died and we sometimes email but haven’t met yet to talk.  But when she sent out a facebook event invite about today, I knew I had to be there this morning. Daddy came with me and while I was just so sad I was also touched by just how many angels there are. And how these other good boys I have come to know of are there in Heaven looking out for you and keeping you safe. And today when Taylor’s Mommy spoke and tears ran down my cheeks I was comforted not by her loss but by her ability to understand what few can. And I cried over her loss too because no mother should have to feel the way I do. And I sometimes wonder if it will ever get easier. And  I think that if the last 6 1/2 months are any indication, it will never get easier, only harder.

Love,

Mommy

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nostalgia

Dear Jakey,

I write to you tonight with so many thoughts in my head but mostly just sadness and missing you. Yesterday was Father’s Day and while it was a good day, it was once again shadowed (at least for me but I think for everyone) by the fact that you are gone. I could only picture last year – when Daddy had both you and Ethan (or Eth as he wants to be called now) on his lap reading cards. It is the picture we put in the slate frame. Your presence was just so deeply missed. It is always but even more on days that we should be 4 and now we are 3.

Ethan is having his last week of school. As of Friday at 11:50 he will now be a first grader. And that means you would have been a kindergartener, granted a somewhat non-traditional one but a kindergartener nonetheless. You would be finishing school too – and be finishing in room 1 and getting prepared to go across the street. Or maybe, but not entirely likely, going to Dorothy Nolan. However it would have been, it would have been a big week for you too. Both my boys would be crossing milestones. Instead, Ethan is going to first grade and we keep visiting you multiple times a day at Greenridge – and the only milestone I am waiting for now is to finally figure out if they will let us put our bench where we want it.

Last night Ethan slept in the shirt you were wearing when you died. I keep that and your Believe the Hype shirt in bed with me always. And last night Ethan wanted to sleep in our bed. We let him. I put him to bed and as he was about to fall asleep he put it on – he could wear it like a button down because it is ripped down the middle from when the EMTs were trying to save your life. I am not sure why he did other than he wants to feel close to you too. We miss you so much and I hope you know it. We went back to church for the first time in a couple of months yesterday. I felt like I needed to get back there and start doing a better job of lighting candles and stuff. Anyways, I was glad to go but it also is hard. I find myself fighting back tears when they talk about prayers and list people who passed and then leave time for you to pray for your own people. And then seeing your name on the cross as the first person that passed since they started the wall of crosses for those who died. I can’t believe you are first.

Anyways, Jakey I miss you so much. I am not the same without you. I think I am more wimpy. Things bother me that I don’t think used to and I try so hard to make meaning of things that just might not have any meaning. I love you to pieces.

Love,

Mommy

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Another list

Dear Jakey,

1. For Mother’s Day, Daddy got us Jakey license plates. My car says Jakey and his says Jakey2. It is the best. Everytime I come to my car, it makes me think of you and smile. It its own weird way it keeps you close to us every single minute.

2. Daddy wanted to have all the flowers in the front garden spell out your name. He worked for hours on it and it didn’t quite work out. Next year we will have to cut back some of the hydrangeas and hostas so there is more room. And fine tune our plans a little. But I still love looking at the abundance of flowers and knowing what he wanted to do. And I know you appreciate it and I feel like the garden looks so beautiful this year and you have something to do with it.

3. Rolland from the funeral home is painting our house. He is doing such an amazing job with so much attention to detail and so careful. It makes me feel so much better thinking about how he must have been so gentle and kind to you after you passed. While I know your soul had already left your body, I trust so much that he treated you with the utmost care and respect. I knew that then when he picked you up from the hospital and got you ready for us to visit with you and spend those last few days with you. He made you look so peaceful and just how we knew you to be. Anyways, our house is going to look so good when he is done. It is still yellow, although a little creamier and the accent color is more noticeable. But it feels good to have him around and I will miss him when he is done.

4. I have been thinking so much lately about friendships and relationships. I think of you always and you are still key to those that I keep near and dear to me. And even if I don’t see them often, who I keep close to my heart. Over the last few years, I kept close with those that made me feel comfortable and those I knew appreciated you. I always knew that some could never really understand our life but some people really tried and really loved (love) you. And that always became the real important factor for me. And that continues now. I told Miss Sharon the other day that I can only be around people who I can cry in front of. And that is pretty much true.  Which leads me to #5.

5. I want to share with you my thoughts on someone else here on Earth who has been pretty great since you left. It is Miss Kelly. The last two afternoons I spend with her in her backyard. I thought of you a lot because while we didn’t spend a ton of time there I always knew you were comfy there. I knew you liked to be propped on her couch. And in your stroller in the shade by the pool. I kept thinking about it while I was there. And I remembered two summers ago when we were there and your brother ended up spiking a fever of like 104 or something ridiculous. And I had to rush him to the doctor’s and you stayed with her. She held you and kept you safe so I could take care of Ethan. There weren’t many people I trusted you with and she was one of the few. She even watched you once when I had to get my hair done. Anyways, being at her house made me feel close to you. It made me a little sad because I don’t think we went over there last summer. Not sure why but sometimes our days were so full that it seemed so hard to add anything else to it. And as busy as they were and as scheduled as were, I miss that too. I miss making your meals and keeping you on schedule and all the therapies. I miss it all. And my last Miss Kelly thing to share of I had forgotten about until this morning. I was driving past Tunison and there were tons of people outside. The hearse was ready to go and people were getting ready. And I remembered that morning – one of the hardest moments ever (those 5 days were filled with the hardest, worst moments of my life). We had your service at the funeral home. I couldn’t leave from sitting in front of you. People said there goodbyes. They had to close the casket. And we carried you out. You were in the hearse. We were in the limo. And all the people who were following us to the funeral were trying to get in line on Lake Ave. And it was a little chaotic. And that was when Miss Kelly pulled her big white Denali with the U2 sticker into the middle of the road and blocked traffic so everyone could be in line. It was awesome. She misses you too buddy. All of us here on Earth do. A lot.

So much love,

Mommy

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flying together

Dear Jakey,

Yesterday morning as we were leaving the cemetery before school, Ethan told me that he wished Daddy, me and him were all birds. He wanted us to all be cardinals with you. It was so sweet but so sad all at once. It makes me sad that the only way we could be a family of four again would be to all be birds. And that this is what Ethan thinks about. This morning we talked about it again. And he told me that he wanted to just be with you and fly sometimes. That you and him would be careful enough to be without their mom sometimes. And it made me even sadder because you have been having to navigate this whole new journey of after life and Heaven without your mom to protect you. You are so very brave my boy.

And I miss you so much. The other day I read something Dr. Weiss said which was “We never lose our loved ones. We keep coming back, together and together again. What a powerful reuniting energy love is.”  I hope that is true my buddy. I think it is. But it doesn’t make it easy.

Love,

Mommy

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