My Dearest Lido,

Today you are 4. Every year it is hard to believe and every year it still comes. You are one of the most amazing people in my life and I hate to say it but I think you are officially out of the baby and toddler stage. Over the past year, you have grown so very much and have lost that baby chub including your little buddha belly…

For your birthday party this year, you definitely had a lot of input. Since you love dinosaurs, we had a dinosaur egg hunt and dinosaur hunt with all your little friends in their explorer pith hats and you guys even had binoculars! Everyone had a great time and you all rode bikes for hours on the driveway. Those that attempted to try and cross in front of any of you took their life into their own hands. It was an amazing party with some amazing friends and what was even more amazing was the fact that all of you kids spent HOURS getting along!

You got to stay up really late and as I was laying with you in bed, you looked at me with sleepy eyes and said “mom, I’m 4. I’m going to be 4 all day. Then next year I’ll be 5 then 6 then 7″…and you counted all the way to 20 and then told me that you would be all the numbers after that. You are really proud to be one year older.

You are about 42” tall and weigh 36#. You love dinosaurs, Spiderman, Transformers and riding your balancing bike. You can count to 30, write your name (and have decided that you are spelling it with 2 m’s because Mom has 2 m’s), write Mom, know your address, the country and state you live in. You still snuggle with me and you still bury your head into the crook of my arm just like you would bury your head into your swing and also into my belly (we have 3D video of this). You have traveled across the ocean to visit London, Paris, Salzburg and Munich. You got to go to Christmas Eve Vespers at Westminster Abbey, ride a red double-decker bus, rode to the top of the Eiffel Tower, took the high-speed train through the chunnel from London to Paris, rode trains across Germany into Austria, saw castles, churches and even got to take a carriage ride through the gorgeous town of Salzburg. You have a few ‘besties’ at school and have had many play-dates at friends houses, the park as well as our house. You are completely brilliant at riding your bikes and just today, on your birthday, you got your first pedal bike. You loved your birthday party and having friends over last night and even came up to me to give me a wonderful hug and say ‘I love you Mom’ out of the blue during the party.

You really are amazing to me. You are so very sweet and loving and you remember EVERYTHING. Sometimes it is hard to keep up with you when you bring up something that happened over a year and a half ago…

This past year, it has been calm and I’m so very appreciative of this. We have been able to find our way along this path at a much easier pace. It is still very hard for the both of us and you are understanding the loss of your Dad more and more. I brought out his patches the other day and you just held them and then lifted them up to your cheek to give them a sort of nuzzle. You miss him. People say that you won’t remember, won’t understand but you do. You always have. You may not have exact memories of him but you remember smells, music, songs we sang to you, his beard tickling your cheeks. You have your tough days when you miss your Dad and are sad.

It’s always rough, this time of year. I take a big breath in and just hold it for as long as I can. I think you realize this as you give me a few extra hugs and kisses along the way. You are just like that. You are very much like your Dad in that way – knowing when someone just needs a little extra something, many times before they know they do. And your only 4. You are an old soul and very wise. I see it in your eyes and in your heart.

My darling boy, I always want you to know how very proud I am of you, how very much in love I am with you and how much you have given to me. You remind me to live in the present and to take as much in as I can. I wish so very much that things were different. I wish that you would know your Dad as I knew him. I would give everything to have him back. I know, though, that he is watching over you and that he was smiling down on you this morning as you took your first ride on your pedal bike.

Today, we leave for a trip. Just the two of us. This will probably be our last big trip for a while. There are many changes in store for us this next year. If things fall into place, we will be heading back to Portland so I can attend school. It’s an old story but one that inspired taking this direction. The story of your Dad figuring out what he really wanted to do and then going for it. I remember the conversation so well and I remember us working to get to that goal. As I was contemplating what it was that I really wanted to do it was him I could hear, reminding me of what I was good at, reminding me what I was drawn to. It was his voice I heard, telling me that I could do this. It was his voice I heard telling me that he would be there when I broke down into tears contemplating making this move and pursuing this without him beside me…not knowing if I could do this on my own. I haven’t felt him surround me and dive deep into my soul and my mind since the night he died when I could see his face and felt his hand on my forehead, warming me, telling me he was okay. All I think about is how hard he worked and studied for something he dreamed of doing, how he loved helping others pursue the same thing, supported them. I feel him surrounding me every day. I’ve longed for this feeling for quite some time, the feeling of him. I know now that he was truly letting me walk the path I needed to take, learn the things I needed to learn, come to terms with situations and people in order to get to this point. I was told by a Shaman, close to 2 years ago, that he was keeping his distance because he was afraid that the only thing I would do was sleep if he came to me in dreams…that I would not walk forward down the paths I needed to take. That I would not learn what I needed to learn. I yelled at that Shaman. Told him that it was fucking bullshit but somehow I knew what he said was true. It has brought me to this moment. And Lido, I have not made a decision for the two of us that has ever felt more right. The very moment that I decided to do this, I could see how interconnected everything has been over the past three years. I could see all of these paths light up, this web of interconnectedness light up. Everything has led me to this very moment. A moment that will effect both you and I in wonderful ways.

This does not give reason, though, to your Dad’s death. I know I would have gotten to this very same moment with him, in the flesh, beside me. I’m positive that he would say the same thing.

Lido, I hope that your Dad inspires you to pursue what you want to do in life. I hope that he inspires you to work hard for whatever it is that you wish to do, be it raising a family and providing for them to becoming the first man to travel to Mars. Everyone has different paths in life. Passions and dreams do not have to be grandiose to have power. You create the power in everything you do. The smallest action can have the most powerful effect. Remember that.

I love you my darling child. I am so very excited to see where this next year takes us and I am excited to be walking this path beside you and seeing where your path leads you. You really are amazing and I see so much of both your Dad and I as a part of you but more and more, I see so much that is just you.

I love you.

In this life and the next,

Your Momom

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One Comment on “Four”

  1. Max Says:

    A beautiful letter, Jesi. It took me a while to finish reading because of waiting for the rain to clear. Liam is a very special person and very fortunate to have a Mom like you; you’re fortunate to have each other.
    I love you both so much and will continue…
    In this life and the next.
    Follow your dreams…
    Your Dad

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