I was dumping the pictures from my camera and came across a photo I had completely forgotten about. It was early in the morning on January 26, and I had gotten up to cook my boy one last meal before he headed to Fort Carson for his deployment. The snow was falling heavily and he was so nervous about his two hour drive to the base. I kept telling him to eat something and he kept telling me that he needed to hurry up and go. I didn’t make him eat much, but I did force two things on him; a real hug and a photograph. I have thought about that last hug over and over again, but somehow I forgot about this photo I insisted we take. It seems he was braver than me. He was genuinely smiling and I remember trying to muster one up, but this was the best I could do.
Oh Jake, I didn’t know I wouldn’t see you again. I didn’t know this would be the last breakfast I would cook you, the last hug I’d force on you or the last image taken of us ever again on this Earth. What I would give to touch you again, to hear your voice, to have a simple conversation… I miss you so much, my lovely son. I miss every single thing about you.