Five months ago today, I was unaware that I would wake the next morning to learn that you were gone; to learn a pain I never knew existed; to learn that my life would never be the same again. As the months have passed, I am learning to live again. The process is slow, but I am trying my best to live as you would have me live. I am noticing the blessings in life and trying to find purpose for the remainder of my time here. Sometimes I feel trapped here, but I know that there is still much for me to accomplish. How did you accomplish what you needed to do so quickly? I always knew you were special but I never knew it like the Lord did!

I posted this on my facebook wall today:

“I realized I no longer count my time in Thursdays, but have moved on to months, now counting them by the 28ths. Five months ago today, you texted me for the last time, “I love you, mom”, left on a late night mission and the Lord brought you home to Him. I am noticing that I remember you living more than I remember you dying, and for that I am grateful. All of your family and friends love and miss you. You taught us about happiness and joy better than anyone I know, and I promise to try to live the happy life you would want for all of us. With tears in my eyes, I will still smile and know that you live on and anticipate your joyous reunions with each of us. Jake, you are so very loved. Forever and ever!”

Jake, I will do my best to love those you loved. I will follow your example and try to serve those who are less fortunate than me. I am grateful for reminders like this photo that allow me to reach out to those suffering through thought and prayer. I know how you felt about the people you served in Afghanistan and your compassion makes me want to be a better person and to do more. The world around us is full of suffering, much like you saw in the middle east. It continues, Jake and seems to get worse with each day. In the back of my mind, I often wonder if we’re getting close to the Savior’s return.