Letter to My Children (February 12, 2019)

Dear Jonathan, Sarah, Joshua, and Christina,

      I love you all. Very much. It is the middle of the night, and I am looking at old pictures of us all. Found this one of your Grampa, my father. Taken I believe when I was in my early 30’s. I used to really laugh. Or cry. I have not done much of either in the last several years. Silence and privacy. Not explaining much except to those who came to the cottage to ask.
     But after 8 years without you. Our family is permanently scarred, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, your mom and dad and sister and your nephews. We are all hurting. With all the efforts I have devoted to traveling to try and see you, writing, calling, texting, leaving gifts....many have written you off as a lost cause. Recently two people told me I have no family any longer, that Gretel is my ‘last daughter.’ Of course, neither statement is true. But it shows how much hurt has been done. I wish you were allowed to see all the damage. I know Pastor Scott forbids you to see our pain, because it might awaken your conscience. I have heard how my posting of old pictures is quite infuriating to the leadership of Calvary Temple in Sterling Virginia. Pictures are worth a thousand words.
     But I just love you more than ever. All of you. The more you have hurt me, the more I love you and dream of laughing with you and being full of gladness that we are all together. Just like the smile in the old photo above with my dad. Just pure happiness over my five beautiful and wonderful children. And my wonderful grandchildren, that I have never yet held in my arms, Penny, Jackson, Weston, Madeline, and Hudson.