Jake,

I am laughing at you a little this morning! I had another dream. I’m sure there was more, but this what I remember: You had a black SUV and you had written motivating quotes all over it in white. It was in the parking lot at the high school and everyone was surrounding it and reading what you had written like it was changing their lives. Ray and I went into the school where you were giving a speech. I wish I remembered the details, but it was very Tony Robbins-like. As we left, you shook everybody’s hand and you told us, “That was the highlight of the year”. Ray said, “Maybe you should consider being a motivational speaker for a living” and you agreed as you proudly looked over your car! Such a funny scene!

Why do I find this so funny? You? Motivated? You would agree that when you lived at home, getting you to do anything was like pulling teeth. I knew when you left for basic training that your life would change and it did in so many ways. It taught you to be disciplined and organized, except at mom’s house! Now, that I look back, I am happy that my house was the only place you felt comfortable enough to truly relax.

lazy

Still, you have always been motivated to work hard for the things that were most important to you. I realize that the Jake the Army knew a different animal. I have heard nothing but great things about you and your work ethic. Jake, I am so proud of you and so proud that you became someone willing to risk your life for others. There is no greater sacrifice and although I wish you weren’t taken, I admire the choices you made.

This week your platoon went back to work at Fort Carson. I got this text message from one of your battle buddy’s wives, “Good morning, Heidi! I went to reintegration training with my husband this morning. When I walked outside, the field by the company was full of butterflies. I know your angel is watching over my husband and the rest of his battle buddies. I just wanted you to know that I am always thinking of you and your family, and you are always in my prayers”. I’m so grateful for those from the platoon who have gone out of their way to be in contact with me. I feel like I need them, never to replace you but you seem to live on through them. I am grateful for angels in heaven and angels on the Earth!

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