A memory popped up on my Facebook page that I had completed my second Century bike ride two years ago. I smiled in to the camera. My legs felt like jelly and I smelled like sweat. I was having a melted chocolate bar in the shade before I jumped in to the car to drive home. Little did I know that you were going to stop breathing that evening after we had put you to bed. Little did I know that I was going to give you CPR that evening and bring you back to life. Little did I know that we were entering the last month of your life.
We're nearing your second anniversary. You would think it would get easier with time. You have gone through the year of "firsts". You have been there before. You know how it feels to be without you on all the major holidays and milestones of a year.
What I know is that is not easier. In many ways, year two is harder. The first year you are expecting it to be hard, to be unbearable. Year two, you are more alone in your grief. You mastered it already once, so you can do it again. In many ways, it's harder due to that. It's harder because there is no road map for grief. There is no straight line. Some days are perfectly ok. Some days are hurtful. You just never know.
The biggest difference now is the realization that life will continue without you. It has hit me. This is the new life. I don't think that ever settled in to my brain during my first year without you. It was more surviving from day to day. Now, I know that this is it. I need to learn how to live the rest of my life without you. This is my new life, and I am still learning. Each and every day.
What I know is that there are days where my feet just take me to your bench at night. The only thing I need is to sit on your red bench and watch the sky over the mountains. There are times where the only place I can be is in your room surrounded by memories. There are times where you to take over my whole heart, my whole brain, my whole body. I miss you so much, Jacob.
I am still learning how to define life. I continue to have major changes in my life. I master them one by one. I am wondering if I one day will sit back and say it all came together. I get to travel the world in a way I never could have done caring for you. I do know it's a privilege and I do get to meet the most sincere people. Thursday night, I was lost in Toulouse walking up and down the cobble streets, and somewhere you found me and brought me back to where I needed to go.
My personality wants everything to settle into places. As you always taught me, life is a journey made of moments to cherish. I am still learning that very lesson of life.
Tonight, I am right where I should be. I am on a balcony writing to you in hot Arizona. I am surrounded by my inner circle; your dad who is my biggest rock, and your beautiful sister who always keeps me honest and who I admire for the person she is. We have spent the evening with one of your nannies, whose whole family turned into friends for life. Friends who get. Friends who have had to fight for their own son's life. Friends who tonight celebrate their son being a cancer survivor. Life is coming full circle, and you're right in the middle of it.
I love you to the moon and back,