Two years. We have seen the sun rise and set 730 times since you lost your fight to mitochondrial disease on June 19th, 2016. Some days it feels like it was only yesterday you left us. Some days it feels like forever. There is no rhyme or reason. The only thing I know is that year two was not easier than year one. It was different, but the saying of time heals all wounds is not yet true. We're still early on the journey without you. We're still defining ourselves.
I remember us packing up after your balloon release last year. We have had a wonderful evening with friends who all love you. It was a perfect sun set as your balloons reached the sky. I felt a huge weight off my shoulders. We survived the first year without you. I knew it didn't mean it was going to be easy from now on, but we had made it through all first holidays. We made it through 365 days without you.
What has been the absolute hardest year two is the realization that this is forever. We will live the rest of our lives without you. We are now parenting the memory of you rather than celebrating milestones in your life. It's different. It still hits me like a hard punch in my stomach. I am not sure how long it will take me to fully realize this. It keeps hitting me. It will take time. It will take a lot of time.
You are more alone in your grief year two. The first year, the world was watching over us. Everyone remembered our loss. Year two, our inner circle has continued to watching out for us. We love and cherish our inner circle. If anything, I know I love them even more. They let me talk and remember you with them. They are not afraid to give me an extra hug, share a beautiful memory of you, and simply acknowledge they miss you too. I love them for just that.
Sarah, your dad and I continue to figure ourselves out as a family. We're a house of cards of three instead of four. The constellation is different. It's not always easy to share grief as a family. It can create distance. For me, there are no other two people in the world that I would like to call my family and my home. I do feel in many ways we are closer than ever. They get me, I get them.
We're redefining ourselves. I am not sure how I would otherwise put it. I was so involved in your life each and every day. All those hours are now filled with other stuff. It's not just an easy switch. There are many things that I am still not sure how they will ultimately end up. I have had to learn to not always know. I have had to learn to give myself time, to not rush into decisions (which is so hard for me). After you died, I had to learn how to walk again. I can now walk. Now I am learning to run. Sometimes I reach my destination, other times I fall. It dose give me admiration for the people around me who face life changing challenges, and the resilience and strength I see in human beings. The strength of never giving up.
The topic of children is a common one. There is not a parent who doesn't love to share their children with the world. Some more than others, but it's always there. It's a common subject when there are no other commonalities. People who don't know me well are hesitant to ask about you, to ask about my children. I know. They are afraid they are going to make me upset. That the pure thought of you will leave me shaking to my core.
What I want the world to know is that I think of you each and every day. I was the lucky one to be your mom for a beautiful decade. Your strength, perseverance, and resilience continue to inspire me every day. You taught me so many lessons of life. There are so many stories to tell. There are so many memories to share. And when I least expect it, in the farthest corners of the world, I find the brave souls. The souls that want to get to know you, and to get to know me through you. I cherish those beautiful moments every time it happens. There is not a day I would not share you with the world, my beautiful boy.
Jacob, please keep watching over us. We need you.
I love you always to the moon and back,