Dear John Paul,
So many times when I have sat down to write you...you were just a few steps away. I would stop my letter to suction you or check your diaper. That is different now. Last Wednesday afternoon, you went to heaven. I know that now, I don't have to tell you what is in my heart. I don't have to explain to you what happened. I know that you know God's plan even better than I do now.
Your wake and funeral were amazing. I know your view of it must have been unparalleled, but even from here...it is hard to express...the numbers of people, many I didn't even get to see or greet, so many family members and friends pouring out their time and skills and love to make the days a perfect expression of gratitude for your life.
The days leading up to your death were intensely prayerful. Priests praying many Masses, Stations of the Cross, writings of saints, rosaries....all of these again and again confirming the gentle urgings of the Holy Spirit that your work on earth was done and that you had much more awaiting you in heaven.
It wasn't how I thought it would be....I always dreaded a caregiver's mistake being the reason you left us. Doctors prepared us for respiratory failure in the course of a secondary illness, a pneumonia or cold or infection. None of these things happened. Ultimately, for you, your disease did progress in an unexpected manner...maybe there was a second diagnoses that doctors could not discover, maybe it was just your version of SMA...we will probably never know. But towards the end of your life, if you could see at all, it was not discernible. We learned in the week prior to your death that a large part of your brain had wasted and was replaced with fluid.
I hesitate to even write those things for fear of being misunderstood....your life even in the very last moments, was beautiful and infinitely valuable. But I do know that the Holy Spirit uses the physical truth in order to help open our hearts to His will, that we may not have otherwise have been open to hearing. I can only compare it to a vocational discernment. In the case of marriage for example, the person seems right, the timing is right in a very material sense, but in order to have the certainty and confidence to move forward, there must also be an inner conviction that this is God's will. We are just cooperating, unable to see how His Providence will play out in its entirety.
I miss you immensely now. Especially as the beautiful events celebrating your life have come to an end and we have to keep moving. The house is quiet....for a kid who couldn't make a sound yourself, you came with a lot of background noise. But more importantly, I need a mission. Yes, I have four other kids to raise and get to heaven. You would think that that would be mission enough...but I had that mission before you were born, and you added such an awesome way of bringing all of us closer to Christ. Don't get me wrong, you still do....but your mom needs help in getting into a new groove. I'm not used to having the added family dynamic of a saint to lean on.
I know you will help me gradually discover God's plan for the family you couldn't take with you.
I love you more today,