2022 marks the 8th year that Jared will not know. Yet, I do my best to ensure each new year knows him.
When we celebrated New Years Eve on December 31, 2013 I had no idea it would be our last. Or that as we toasted our future on January 1, 2014, that our life together would end nine months later.
That first New Year was so daunting. The thought that a year would not know Jared. That we would not have any adventures together. Make any memories. The emotions were overwhelming.
The second New Year’s Eve was even harder. Because I realized I would never again be able to say last year in reference to Jared. When Jared died in 2014, all through 2015 I could say last year. But in 2016, that was no longer an option. And for me, it made the realization that Jared was truly gone and never coming back, one I could no longer ignore.
Each year has been a little better. Those first years I dreaded the new year celebration. Now I actually look forward to it. Enjoy celebrating with family and friends. Toasting the blessings of the past year. Cheering to the hope of the future.
I have also learned that despite Jared not being physically present to ring in the new year, he is always there.
I see him in our son’s eyes.
I hear him in our son’s laugh.
I feel him beside me, especially when I blow him kisses at midnight.
He is always with me.
Even though we can’t make any new memories or take any new adventures, each new year year will still know Jared. Because we make sure he is never forgotten.
We say his name.
Keep his memory alive.
Carry him in our hearts.
Jared may not be here to kiss me at midnight but he is just a memory away.