This is another request from Jenny. She wanted one that in someway talked about a family joke or the boys.
Here is the back-story.
When Linc was little, around four-years-old, he had this knack for talking to anybody. We would be somewhere and he could talk to any adult in the room, basically telling them his life story. One time, he talked to this sweet older lady almost the whole way on a flight from Orlando to Baltimore.
After awhile of this, Jake would start to roll his eyes and say, “Mom” in that slow, dragged-out way big brothers can say things, make the “blah, blah,blah” motion with his hand. It became a family joke and is one our cherished memories of Jake and when the boys were little.
This past week Linc and I went to the driving range. I have a guy’s golf weekend coming up in June and haven’t touched the sticks in six years and Linc recently expressed an interest in trying out golf, so away we went. It was great. We had a really good time.
I was telling Jenny about it on our nightly walk and how golf could be something Linc and I can do as together. She then said, “Oh, Jake would have so been into golf!” We had a little fun imagining Linc getting angry at Jake trying to tell him how to hold the club and how to swing (we miss that bickering). I told her about a conversation I had with Jake right before we went to Wilford Hall Hospital in San Antonio for his bone marrow transplant.
We had just moved into our house in Westminster and Jake and I had run to the little shopping center near us for something, it doesn’t matter what. The center is on a hill overlooking McDaniel College and the golf course that is a part of the campus. I told Jenny that Jake said to me, “Dad, you and I need to go golfing there.” I almost started crying. It was later in the fall of 2000, Jake had already relapsed and was too weak and it was too cold to take him out on the course. So I told him I would but we would have to wait for Spring, when it was warm again. We never made it back.
Every time Linc reaches a milestone or does something for the first time, Jenny and I get a little sad because Jake never had that opportunity. We make sure to celebrate Linc’s accomplishment and not take away from his moment but once Jenny and I are alone, we get into “what might’ve been.” We try not to do this too long and just focus on the good memories from the time we had with Jake.
We’ve learned a few things about grief since 2001. One is to acknowledge it when it happens. Let it run its course. You can deny it but it will come out, eventually.