Social media has decided 2016 was a crappy year. We lost many musicians and artists we will forever remember, and let's not get started on the election. What I know is that the worst thing that could happen to me, and to all parents for that matter, happened in 2016. I lost you. I remember thinking what I would do without you, since I knew the day would eventually come. I always saw a big black hole. I couldn't even in my wildest dreams envision life without you. My heart and mind didn't want to go there. I wanted to stay in the world you were apart of.
2016 taught me the hard lesson that life goes on no matter what happens. There will always be a sunrise and a sunset.
This is what I know going in to a new year without you:
- I'm still standing. I'm still amazed that I am getting out of bed every morning, and trying to do the best of life. The big black hole didn't catch me.
- No one should have to lose a child. My maternal instinct didn't die with you. I am still worrying about you, and hoping you are fine. Losing a child is like having your leg amputated. You know your leg is physically gone, but you can still "feel" your leg. That is the best way I can describe losing you.
- I love to live. I have discovered a deep strong desire to live even when my biggest motivation to get up in the morning, you, are not there to greet me each morning. As my heart is aching, I am still loving so many things in life. The glass is still half full, not half empty. I'm grateful for this special gift.
- I love your sister and dad. I think I cherish them even more after having experiencing tremendous loss. They simply get me.
- I think of you all the time. You never leave me. I love when people ask about you, and tell me memories of you. People are afraid they are going to make me sad, maybe not realizing that you never leave my mind. You're always right there, and I love sharing that. It makes me happy to talk about you.
- I can't come to terms with the statement that "you are so much better off where you are now". I understand that you didn't live a life of a normal child. I understand you endured a lot of medical challenges. But gosh was your life worth living. All that love surrounding you made you want to stay on earth as long as your body possibly let you. I am convinced of that.
- I love the signs you send me. I love when you help me find strength when I don't think I have any more. I love you always making sure I know you're never far.
- Don't think I am not grieving if I don't cry all the time. I need a normal in the not so normal life right now. The ugly cry is not always meant to be shared. Most of the times it's just you and I.
- Friends, keep reaching out to me. I don't always have the same energy as I had before, but I love the messages and I love my Jacob tribe.
- Jacob, you taught me to not sweat the small stuff. I still fall into the trap sometimes, but I am getting better at it.
- Kindness always wins. Sometimes the smallest act of kindness can change somebody else's day. Never underestimate that power. It has carried me all summer, fall and into winter. Each and every day.
2016 didn't turn out the way I wanted it to, Jacob. I hope you're still a little proud of me still standing. I will tell you that it's with mixed feelings I'm embarking on 2017. I very much loved that you were part of 2016. Now I am entering a new year without you in it. We still have so many "firsts" without you, your birthday being next on the list. It's not always going to be easy.
But what I know more than anything is that I will forever love you to the moon and back,