I'm really very sorry that you've seen me cry more tears than I ever knew could exist inside a person's eyes at one time. I want you to see those tears, though, and take from them the intense love I have for you. I'd never met your sister, never carried her inside my body or in my arms, and still, I mourn. I grieve the loss of her, the loss of life, the loss of dreams. I cannot comprehend the ache of missing a child who has laughed and cried, triumphed and failed, wrapped lanky limbs around me, and whispered, "I love you." This flood you have seen is because I love.
You, my sons, are warriors. Watching me cry and telling me that it will be alright--someday. Listening as I apologize for breaking down once more and quietly saying that you understand. Being wiser than your young years and looking at me through windows that have somehow grown and changed in these weeks. You've grown in ways I wish you hadn't but, still, I am fiercely proud of what I see you becoming.
People have told me how strong I am. Many people. Garrett and Matthew, I want you to know that there is no strength here. I promise you that I have never been weaker or more broken. Any strength that is seen is because our Lord has completely taken over. He is carrying me. The strength in me is nothing but His glorious mercy shining through. Any peace I have is His perfect holiness calming our storm. Any solace I take is because I know that Kate has met our Savior face to face, has been made new, and is singing over and over again, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty."
I've heard that there are some who don't understand why we're so sad about losing a child who wasn't ours. I want you to know that none of you belong to me. You are God's. His alone. He has graciously and miraculously allowed you to be in my care for just a little while. How arrogant for one to believe that a child belongs to her anymore than the stars belong to the night. But you have been entrusted to me by God Almighty for as long as He so chooses. Dear boys, I need you to know that Kate's mother and father chose us for her. They wanted us to give her a name and a home and a life. In death, they gave us the right to care for her and call her our daughter. And so, as much as a child ever really can be, she was ours.
I love you. I love your tender hearts and your beautiful smiles. I love that God has made both of uniquely, well, you. I am so thankful that God has placed you both into my life. I wouldn't trade you for anything in this wide, wide world.