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Archive for January, 2013

out of focus

Dear Jakey,

I have struggled lately with how to put into words or even my own thoughts life without you. I am so practiced and versed at talking about Jake’s Help From Heaven and at trying to make it not awkward when people find out our story. But at the same time it is so impossible to really convey the way life is without you. It’s like everything about me is different. And even at this over two-year mark, I am still trying to figure out my existence. I try to keep to a schedule. I try to keep myself busy. And frankly, JHFH has been keeping me busy. We have so many letters and emails to answer and even today we had a phone call from someone asking about an internship. It’s strange because sometimes I still feel like all I am doing is going through the motions. And it is why I can’t stray too much from routines. Why TKD twice a week is good for me, why my runs with Susan are good for me and now my workouts with Matt. All things I can control and all things that make me get up and do things. Sometimes I fear a day might come where it is all too overwhelming to deal with, where the magnitude of the rest of my life without you is so overwhelming that I can’t breathe or move and I am so aware that I am always teetering on that line, the line between handling it and not. And I know that for me to keep moving and keep showing up when and where I am supposed to helps. And when I look or think about  myself, most of what I  see is me as your mom but the more time passes since I cared for you, I just feel out of focus and blurry. And I don’t really know how to fix that.

With so much love,

Mommy

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impact

Dear Jakey,

Your presence has been everywhere lately. Or at least I have been thinking of you all the time. It has been so cold and crisp – the bright kind of days where I tell Ethan we can see straight up to Heaven. And this wacky group of robins have been flying and hanging out in the tree in front of the house – so much so that not only I noticed, but Ethan said something on the way home from school and Kate noticed when she came over. And the cardinal has been hanging around for E and I to see. And then tonight, out of nowhere, Ethan went up to put his pajamas on. When he was up there he wrote you a note in his journal. It’s been many months since he’s written. And he was proud of it and wanted me to share it with you. So I will write it exactly as he did:

Marry Dilad (delayed) christmas Jakey !!!!! How do you like heaven. Is it fun. Can’t wait to see you Jakey and see what it’s like. I love you Jakey.

He misses you so much. And sometimes I get so wrapped up in my missing of you that I forget about how it impacts Ethan, and even his friends. Mrs. Willard left this note at your grave a few weeks back. It had been sent home in Willie’s backpack mail and nobody knew he wrote it. It was his Christmas wish:

My wish for jake Stroter to come back to life so my friend Ethan can be happy and play. from will with lots and lots of love to Santa and the Stroter family

Your impact on everyone continues to be strong. And I am proud of that but sad because I just miss you and want you back – like Willie said –  so we can be happy.

Love,

Mommy

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Nighttime snuggles

Dear Jakey,

Tomorrow your brother will be 8. Doesn’t that seem so old? He was only 5 when you died. And now he is 8. Well tomorrow he is 8. He has been such an extra good boy lately. And such a snuggler. So much so that he has made me think of you a lot lately. He sneaks into our bed at some point in the night and gets so close that I think about my nights with you and how every night I got to snuggle you. I never figured out how to keep you safe and keep track of you without you being in our bed. And sometimes now when Ethan throws his leg or arms over me I think of the way you slept on my arm. And I miss those days so much and I am grateful that your brother helps me remember.

I miss you buddy. I am always happy to see the cardinal around. It made both Ethan and my day to see you the other morning. And the Jake Alexander sightings everywhere are pretty intense. And while it makes me feel closer to you, it isn’t ever close enough. So tomorrow when I bring in cupcakes to Ethan’s class I will remember the times you came with me to Skidmore’s Early Childhood Center for his birthday. And I will know that you are with us, just not in the red stroller.

With love,

Mommy

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A new year

Dear Lovebug,

2012 has come to a close. And we are now 6 days into 2013 and I am 39. I am feeling pretty good about 39, not sure why but I am. The year ended with the usual holiday chaos but also with this overwhelming sense of things that are wrong. And I couldn’t write to you because I was having way too hard of a time figuring it all out. And I haven’t come any closer to figuring it out but I feel like  I at least have figured out some perspective and not just sadness and anger.

I know you know how long you’ve been gone but it seems to just get worse with time. And then when something like what happened in Newtown, CT happens I get so stuck in thinking about the families affected. And to be honest, Jakey, it took me all this time to be able to write to you about it and have it be about what it really is about for me – and not about all the other emotions that this brought out in me. It truly made me crazy how many people made this about them and how much it affected them and their lives. I get it, I really do, but my perspective and view of things has changed and my tolerance, as much as I try to work on it, is just sometimes very limited. And then Liam died and it was just more than I could handle. I always thought of Liam as a weird extension of you. You died December 8, 2010 and he was born December 13, 2010. And while I never met him or his family, when I saw him he reminded me of you. And then when he died I couldn’t stop crying. I was sitting over at your place when I learned about it and I just couldn’t catch my breath. I don’t think I have cried like that ~ for a reason other than you in a very very long time. And combined with Newtown and the fact that I am two years ahead of the families and I know the hardest time comes down the road. It only gets harder and everyone else is able to get back to the comfort of their lives but their tragedy just becomes their new normal and the way life is. It is just heartbreaking. And the only real comfort I get is in knowing that you are in Heaven and every one who ends up there is a new friend for you to hang out with until we are together again.

So, I am trying in 2013 to focus on that comfort. And focusing on your life in Heaven and what it might be like. And what you might want to know about us down here. Things like how Ethan has become such a funny guy. He has discovered sarcasm and it is actually quite funny. He is obsessed with the chicken wings at Smokey Joe’s and after eating them all to the bone he would talk about how disgusting they were with a big grin on his face. And I love that while you were never at Smokey Joe’s,  you kind of were when you came to Aruba in my belly. And he is a total football guy now – he talks stats and plays all the time, ALL the time. It is funny to watch the big guy he is becoming. You would be proud of who he is.

I hope 2013 brings you lots of fun and happiness. I hope you keep us close and watch us (although I know you do. I just see the signs you send so much more now and know you are near). And while I count the days until we are together again, I will work hard at focusing on the good until then.

Love,

Mommy

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