It's been a year since I told you you couldn't spend the night with me. I will regret that for the rest of my life. If only I said yes, you would still be alive. He wouldn't have hurt you. My heart wouldn't be broken. I know wanting you to be alive is selfish. You're with Jesus. I miss you every day, but most days I'm too scared to open the box of pain I carry around with me. I know if I do, it might eat me alive. I still can't watch the videos of you. It hurts too much. I'm so sorry you died. I know it isn't my fault, but still I'm sorry. I'm sorry I didn't protect you. I'm sorry I let that bad man in my house.
You taught me so much the short time I had you. You taught me how much better life is when I am not living just for my self. You taught me how valuable and vulnerable the life of a child is. You taught me I am stronger than I thought. You taught me how strong love is. It never mattered to me if you were "special needs" or sick forever or whatever. You were perfect. You taught me I was loveable. Every time you were happy to see me and told me over and over "I love you, Stacey." You let me see how someone could discover God with a child's faith. You believed God loved you and God would make you and papa and anybody "better" just because I told you so. My favorite sounds in the world were your laugh and your singing voice.
My small finite brain cannot understand heaven. I love Jesus so much, but I can't wrap my brain around this mystery. I guess I have trouble trusting what people tell me about it, when God tells me so little. I can't fathom something beyond time and space and that maybe you can see me or something, but then I think I don't really want you to watch me when I'm going to the bathroom or watching the Real Housewives on TV. I trust that you're there and you're happy, and that you get to be around my dad and maybe even Andrea's mom, but really I just don't get it. I just have to wait to find out I guess.
I just hope you know how much you changed me. How much I love you. How I promise to try and make your life worth it. I promise I will try and stop other children from hurting. I will try and be a better person because I knew you and not a worse person because you died. I know someday the pain of missing you will grow less stinging and the joy of knowing you will grow more comforting. I hope I'm not letting you down by still hurting so much.
I love you too much.