That September morning, a boy awoke excited. He was about to become a teenager. He was the eldest of his generation in the family, and he was thrilled to be the one to break this ground. Just two more days and his life would change.
He had no idea. None of us did.
It was during first period at his middle school that he was pulled out of class, along with his twin brothers in the grade below. It was probably at the same time that I got the call from my parents — his grandparents (he is my sister’s son).
His father had been found dead.
There was a letter.
This September morning — today — that same boy is again awakening, this time with an odd mixture of excitement and loss. He is about to become a man. In two days he’ll be eligible to vote, he’ll be invited to register for the draft, he’ll have all the freedom and responsibilities that go with being 18.
And he marks five years finding his way without his dad. With his own resilience and the support of family and friends, this young man can finally say:
I feel content
I feel at peace
You’re so close to me
Even though you’re out of reach
Jake, my nephew, (center, with his brothers) has been grieving and healing in fits and spurts for five years now. Whereas my therapy is blogging; his is rapping. Today, he releases his latest creation, No One Laughs, with haunting backdrop by Regina Spektor. I am honored to share it with you. (Safe for Work version.)
Have a tissue box ready for the ending.
Consider this my love note to Jake, Ben and Ross today. I love you boys with my whole heart, and my love extends to everyone who has contributed to making you you.
Happy birthday, Jake.