Oh Isaac,

This is never a letter a mom wants to write. One that her son will never see or read. Maybe it is silly me doing this, but man I miss you son. There are moments where it feels like a lifetime since we last spoke and then other moments that it still feels like you can’t possibly be gone.

So much has changed in 5 months. The world has turned upside down and it almost feels appropriate considering the fact that our lives have turned upside down too. There are days I want to text you, to ask you what you think about all of these crazy times. There are other moments that I feel a measure of peace that you aren’t here to deal with the stress of these times…

I survived Mother’s Day, my first without you here. It was cold and dreary out that day and I honestly spent the day in a pit of self pity that I wasn’t going to hear from you. I heard from so many people that made me feel loved and appreciated, but it was another “first” that was hard. I guess the rest of my life I will walk that fine line of joy and sorrow. Celebrating the time we had, grateful for your siblings that are still here but also ever aware of the gravity of your absence. It won’t ever be ok.

We are in the last several days of distance learning for the school year and Karlena has been doing a road trip project. It is on the Black Hills and so I have been showing her pictures of the places we have been before. So much of it she doesn’t remember, she was so small then.

Your dad found old pictures of our trip out there in 2014. When we stopped and hiked in the Badlands. You were so patient and caring towards your siblings. Holding their hands so they wouldn’t fall. Not many 17 year olds would be that kind….but you were. You always were such an incredible brother. I think that is why your presence is so missed by them. Even though you hadn’t lived at home for several years after graduation in 2015…you made such an impact on them at an early age.

Son, you will never be forgotten. Your dimpled smile, your kind yet mischievous eyes. You were a tender soul and in many ways this world, your life, was unkind to you and it was so hard. I am so very sorry for that. I wish I could do so many things differently, I wish I could have stopped your pain. We would have done anything, anything son, to save you.

I continue to pray that your life, your story…our story now will somehow make a difference. Some days I have more hope in that than others but we continue to seek God in all things. Our faith has never been tested like this, but God has also never felt so very present. I am grateful for that. I couldn’t continue on in my own strength if He wasn’t.

Isaac I continue to praise God for the days we had. I wouldn’t trade them for anything. You were so cherished and I miss you more than you will ever really know.

All my heart, Mom