For awhile it felt like just yesterday that I had been snuggling you, running my fingers through your hair, kissing you to pieces, and sharing the simple joys of life with you. But those experiences are so distant from me now; everything has changed since the day you left my arms five years ago.
It is devastating to realize how foreign the actual experience of embracing you feels. And yet, you remain principal to my very existence. I hold you close because you are my boy. But I also hold you tightly because God continues to use you to help me see him, because you give me more understanding of my purpose, and because your voice compels me to speak.
As I continue to hold you closely, God has graciously been expanding your legacy. He is using your voice. He is revealing glimpses of his redemptive power through your suffering. He is opening hearts and changing lives out of your faithfulness as a little child. God is clearly at work through your life and we are humbled to be a part. I am so incredibly proud of you!
But as your legacy grows, I get concerned that you might simply become an idea, a sweet concept, or just a cause to support. I also fear that your personhood might get lost or forgotten with time. Please, please forgive me if others ever treat your memory thoughtlessly or without respect. As your mama, who wants desperately to protect you, there is little that breaks my heart more. I am so sorry!
However, please also know that your personhood will never be lost or forgotten with your dad, sister, and me. You are our fourth. You complete our family. You are an integral part of us. We are not whole without you.
I hope you see all the cards Jessie writes to you, the gifts she makes for you, the ceremonies she puts together for you, the games she creates to include you. Her actions reflect all our hearts–you are precious to us, a super-loved member of our family and considered in all we do. We miss you so much, Juddy!
Five years ago my heart was shattered when you left. It is still shattered.
Five years ago your body was broken before you left. It is no longer broken.
I can’t wait for the day when my shattered heart will be whole just as your broken body is now whole.
My soul yearns with love and longing, Bud Bud.
With all my heart,