Last weekend Ray and I took a road trip to Chicago to visit Jake’s Lieutenant. He is still hospitalized after 3.5 months. He has suffered brain damage from 2 strokes as a result of his injuries and is learning to talk, read and write all over again. We had a great visit, went to dinner with his family and managed to have conversation amidst his frustration with finding the right words. What a brave man!

I managed to keep my composure during our time together, but I knew the tears would come later and they did. The whole week stirred anger in me over war and the tragedies that come from hatred in the world. I became so angry,  and then I remembered the love, the bonds and the silver lining that comes with every tragedy. Everything has its opposite, and the opposite of hatred and war is love and kindness. I have no control over the hatred, but I try to follow the savior and serve those around me.

This morning, I finally felt well enough to take a walk with Max. It was cool, the sun was shining, the leaves were barely starting to change and blow around, and I could feel fall around me. For me, this is so significant! As I was admiring the start of my favorite season, I realized that all of summer came and went without notice from me.  My grief had consumed my capacity to feel and squelched normal things that have always brought me joy, like being outside with nature all around me. I didn’t notice that summer came and I didn’t notice that it went, but today I noticed fall.

Baseball season is almost over and I didn’t care to watch a single game. Now, the World Series are almost upon us and Jake isn’t here. It was a tradition of ours until he was about 16 and life got busier for him and I married Ray… We knew all of the teams and players and had so much fun making bets and predictions. A couple of weeks ago, I opened my night stand drawer and found two baseball cards that have been there since 2006. I remember the day so clearly. I was in bed after my wrist replacement surgery and Jake came in with these two cards; my two favorite players of the year. It seems like a small and simple gesture, but Jake was 14 and collected cards, and these two were treasures. That’s why he wanted me to have them. Jake always worried about my illnesses to the point that he seemed to have outward denial that I was sick at all. I think it helped him to always think of me as strong and healthy, but when I was really down, he was there to check on me and bring me treasures to cheer me up. I thought about putting the cards in his collection box sitting on my shelf, but instead, I returned them to the drawer where they have been for eight years and will likely stay for the rest of my days here on Earth. A reminder of special times that we shared.

BB BBB

Jake, Our favorite season is here and you are not. Please stay close to me and help me remember our times together. Although I will continue healing, I know I will never be the same without you. You are a part of me and I am a part of you in flesh, heart and spirit. I cannot articulate how much I miss you.

A tribute to you from the Colorado Rockies. I didn’t get to be there, but I know you were there and I know you must have loved it!

http://m.mlb.com/video/v35647343/miacol-rockies-honor-private-first-class-wykstra

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