Letter to My Son, Blake

Posted by on Sep 21, 2012 in Blog, Grief and Loss, Lessons

Letter to My Son, Blake

Dear Blake:

 

Blake it is hard for me to believe you will be turning eighteen in just a few months. I see it as the end of your childhood years, but I know you feel as if your childhood ended that tragic day in Costa Rica in 2009. You were only fourteen years old and stepped up to lead our family when your father and I were broken and frail, barely able to survive.  Thank you for that Buddy, you were wonderful. I only wish it hadn’t cost you what it did. I am terribly sorry.

 

I think back on all the wonderful memories of your younger years, all the fun, love and laughter— it breaks my heart knowing your childhood ended so abruptly, I will never forget how excited I was to finally discover I was pregnant. It was Father’s Day weekend, and Daddy was out of town with Grandpa and Uncle Jeff. I couldn’t wait to surprise Daddy with the big news when he returned.

 

Being pregnant for the first time was such a wonderful experience, full of emotion. I would spend hours in the rocking chair in your room singing to you and imagining our life together. My love for you had already surpassed any love I had ever before experienced or imagined.

 

I didn’t understand some of the things my body was telling me, and come to find out I had been having contractions for weeks. I was shocked when I went to the hospital and found out I had an infection causing preterm labor. I was admitted and spent the week in the hospital. Not knowing what was going to happen was terrifying for first time parents. Giving birth to you and having you whisked away by an emergency staff where you would spend 3 weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit was a traumatic experience.

 

Becoming a mother, especially with a preemie that required extra care and attention, was a life-changing event. You immediately became the best thing in my life; you meant everything to me. Although I was blessed with such a tremendous love, I felt like I had endured a pain beyond what most parents should have to. It broke my heart when I was discharged from the hospital and I had to leave before even getting to hold you for the first time.

 

At only 3 pounds two ounces you were so small, but such a miracle. Finally bringing you home was such an exciting but scary experience. I couldn’t believe I had the capacity to love this much, I had no idea.  You were adorable and the center of our life. Once we got passed the scary days when you were so small, parenting you was easy. You were a good baby, always happy.

 

As a parent, I wanted to make sure the things that I struggled with in my childhood were things you wouldn’t have to worry about. I hated being an only child until I was thirteen, and Dad loved being so close in age to Uncle Jeff, so we new we wanted another child soon.

 

When you were nine months old I was pregnant again. I felt guilty, secretly thinking there was no way I would ever be able to love another child as much as you. The pregnancy seemed to go by much faster because I was busy with you. When youe sister was born, I learned a mother has the capacity to love her children uniquely for each child, with the greatest love ever. I also quickly realized how instant the bond is between siblings. You were such a cute big brother, at only eighteen months old, you did all you could to help with your baby sister, Brooke.

 

You quickly became a pair. One didn’t say one name without the other, Blake and Brooke, or often in a hurry, Brake and Blooke. What a pair the two of you were! We had a perfect family.

 

It was obvious by the time you were two that you were incredibly smart and had what seemed like a photographic memory. You could recite exact words from your favorite shows and of course knew the words to every Barney song! You were full of outrageous questions that I could never answer, which demonstrated early on your deep level of thinking and how your brain was always processing. You made me so proud. School was a breeze for you.

 

Watching you take skating lessons and starting to play hockey when you were just a small toddler was so adorable. You would push the buckets around the ice, not much bigger than the bucket itself. Now when I see you on the ice you look so big.

 

Your passions as a young child were very much the same as they are today. You loved hockey, cars, music, and collecting things. Whether it was Nascar Hotwheels, Bionicles, or Star Wars figurines, you became obsessed with collecting them all. It probably started from Dad and his determination to get you all of the Nascar Hotwheels and the many trips he made to stores looking for ones you did not yet have. Today, you do the same, only it is guitars, or paintball guns, but it always something to the extreme!

 

You were always laid back and happy. You laughed often, something that I loved to hear. You didn’t get worked up or stressed; you were just easy going and content. You were openly affectionate and loving, and never seemed to mind when your freak of a mom came running across the ice when you got hurt or when I asked for a kiss or a hug in front of the other hockey players.

 

Although you lived a life blessed with many wonderful things, I attempted to balance this so you would still appreciate what you had. I did my best to make what I thought were good parenting decisions. Some I am extremely proud of and can see how those decisions have carried through in your values today. Others, I can see might not have been the best, but I am human and make mistakes. I recognize now that trying to compensate for that was missing in my life as a child, may not have been the perfect answer. After growing up in a family that financially struggled, I was determined to give you a better life and worked hard to ensure our family was financially secure. Now I realize that a simple life may have been better for many reasons.

 

Watching you and Brooke grow up together and seeing you interact as the best of friends was so special. We had many wonderful years together. Unfortunately, the stress of my job, the travel, Dad’s new business, and attempting to balance it all made things challenging at home. Having the third child added to the stress but of course we all loved Paige so much it didn’t matter.

 

 

Recognize our experiences do shape us into who become in life. I believe this is all part of God’s plan. I can see the impact life’s challenges have had on you. Although Brooke’s tragic death has scarred you forever, I can also see how it has made you a better person. You appreciate life now more than most, the simple things others take for granted. You know possessions don’t matter, that people and time with those you love are what count.

 

You have grown so much through your hardship Blake. Your pain has made you stronger.  Your sadness has taught you to appreciate happiness. Your tears have made you braver. You know without a doubt you are capable of achieving whatever you set your mind to.

 

Life’s lessons aren’t easy Blake, and often they don’t make sense to us. Just know love is the root of it all. Love is what life is about. Love freely and take chances. Don’t be afraid to get hurt. You have survived unimaginable tragedy. Through it you have gained tremendous knowledge and strength. Continue to live life to it’s fullest. You are an amazing son and I am more proud of you than you can ever imagine.

 

Please let us always remain close. I love you forever my little boy.

 

Love always,

 

Your Mother

 

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