We met with our casualty assistance officer today. We were told we could expect the results of the investigation in the spring of 2015. My heart is breaking. Don’t they know we need closure? As long as I know nothing, I feel that you won’t be completely at rest or maybe it’s just me that won’t rest. The final casualty report says your cause of death was from “multiple injuries”. I think I can figure that out myself because an 24,000 pound helicopter came crashing down on you. I have to keep that vision and everything else my brain imagines in my head until they send that report. The Army is so frustrating, this process is frustrating and not being able to talk to you is so frustrating. Jake, I need answers. You know how my brain works. I want to know everything, but this is something I need to know. I need to know why I don’t have you anymore!

Today Ray and I looked at some property for possibly building a house. It’s so green and beautiful here and you never got to see it. You never got to visit like we had planned. I even have your bedroom all ready for you and nobody has slept there yet but your sweet little niece. I’ll have to tell her next time she comes that she is sleeping in a bed I prepared for you. I’m sure you know about her invisible heart string. It’s attached to her heart and the other end is attached to your heart all the way up in heaven. I have one too and when we want to remind you how much we love you, we pull on our heart strings together. Can you feel us tugging at your heart? She has such a perfect and unflawed understanding of where you went. Of course she cried when she was told you went to heaven, but now she smiles when she talks about how happy you are there. She told me you’re so lucky because you get to be with Jesus and all the doggies that we used to have. I wish it was so simple for me. I wish I could see the positive side without the anger I feel over the waste of young lives that war brings. I wish I could get past the great loss and heartache that sometimes paralyzes me and renders me useless; unable to do anything but cry for you.

There is a beautiful Lake here that we like to walk around. It’s called Racoon River Park and it has everything that you would love; a people beach and a dog beach, little league fields, a huge dog park that goes back into the woods and a lake for canoeing. There are memorial benches all around the lake. Maybe I should get one with your name on it. Maybe it can be my special place in Iowa to be with you. The problem is that it is so hard to see your name memorialized. It’s already on a tombstone and a memorial wall and there are plans to add it to other memorials. It’s wonderful and beautiful that you are so well honored and remembered, but hard for the mom who gave you that name. It’s both bitter and sweet.


Speaking of dogs and heaven, I sent this to Jake when he was in Afghanistan. He said, “Now, that’s my kind of Heaven!”. I hope he’s there right now with Sophie, Rufus, Roscoe, Chelsea, Watson, Hennie and Hank.