Monday, April 2, 2018

Dear Jude,

Dear Jude,

I can't believe it's almost been two years since you left us, it seems like it was just yesterday. This week is a hard one and I am not sure I could ever put into words just how hard it is in a way that anyone could truly understand. It is physically painful to get up in the morning and get ready to come to work and to go home knowing your bright smile won't be there waiting on me. Since you have been gone there have been lots of changes in our lives. Not long after we lost you we made the decision to sell the house and move. After you left the home was just so quiet that it was overwhelming and all I could see every time I walked in the living room was your face so still and lifeless. The experts say you are suppose to wait at least a year before you make any life altering decisions after a tragedy. This is yet again an example of the fact that experts don't know everything and you need to do what's best for you. I felt better after we moved and I felt like you lead us to the home we are at today.

Your dad suffered a massive infection to his heart after we lost you which was very scary but he is doing better now! He immerses himself into gardening and gaming to occupy his mind. It's when your dad gets still that he gets so very sad without you.  Your sister went away to college and then decided to come home for a semester. She will be returning to the University Of Alabama in the fall and will be finishing our her nursing degree there. She has a hard time with your loss even though she doesn't really see it now. She cannot really talk about you but someday she will.

Nurse Charlotte, oh lovely Charlotte never went back to pediatric nursing. I think her heart literally broke in two when we lost you and it took awhile to piece back together again. She worked in elderly hospice for awhile and now as a new position at a hospital. Nurse Allan still texts every day he works, "Good Morning Glory" in his bright loud Goat way! He comes to see us when he can and he is caring for two new boys. He says in the early morning hours when no one is awake he sits and sheds his tears before his shift starts. Nurse Candice is as funny as ever and I get to keep up with her on Facebook. Oh and guess what? Dr Riela retired!! I told Mike you just made an impact on everyone.

The house we moved into has land that you would love! Since we have more room you know your dad found a way to get more animals! First we got Blue who ironically walked up during an outdoor memorial party we were having for you when we first moved in. He is a big brown dog and he just walked up and laid his head on your dad's lap. When your dad found the owner she didn't really want him anymore so VOILA we have a new dog! Emily adores Blue and is always spoiling him rotten. Next we got Buddy the pig, oh he is a stinker. Your dad calls him Boudreaux and he is so super smart! Lastly, we had a stray cat walk up who before we could get her fixed sh had kittens. So we have a zoo, we bought a zoooooo!

On Sunday we are having an Emily's Smile Box party in your honor where we will be putting together 250 Smile Boxes to benefit local hospitals. We have invited everyone we can to come out and remember your spirit and help us help others. Then on Monday I have asked everyone to do something kind in your honor and to please tag us. I have also asked them to wear their superhero outfits again!  I am hoping this will spread like wildfire and that many people hear the words, "I did it for Jude" Sunday - Monday. Your mom is taking off the day on Monday and I plan to just meditate in peace with your memories surrounding me.

It's the little things that get to your dad and I right now. It can be a song, walking pass a bottle of Pedialyte, hearing a baby giggle, or a simple beautiful Cardinal sitting outside our door. The tears just creep up and sting as we hold them back in public. The knot in our throat is sometimes hard to swallow back down but we manage. We live each day to see Emily grow and thrive and to get closer to seeing you. Death is no longer scary when you have lost a child.

We hope you are happy and thriving where you are at. I see your signs at times and I love every one of them. Well my lunch is over so back to work I go. I love and miss you always.

Love, Mom

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