…if I could only give you one thing, what would it be?
What could I give you that you could treasure should the worst happen?
My mind has been preying on this in recent days.
If you were ever taken, would you know that you are loved? Would you know that we would fight every day, do our uttermost to bring you back to us, pray and cry and trust and worry for you until we had answers?
Would you know that you are not alone? That whatever horrendous evil schemes others have, you are truly precious and beautiful and that nothing can dirty you or break you or make you unlovable? That there is hope. That sometimes people do return home. That strength to go on another day can be found.
You may be too young to hear the details of April’s disappearance, but you are old enough to learn that children should never get in a car without mummy or daddy knowing. You may be too ignorant to appreciate the horrors of a street in Cleveland, but you are old enough to recognise the love we will always have for you, even if time passes and we should not see each other. You won’t yet have heard of Jaycee, Tia, Elisabeth, Madeleine or any of the others, but at the right time we will tell you what you need to know. We do not want to frighten you.
We want you to know you are loved beyond all measure.
You are so loved.
And because we believe in a God who heals, restores, saves, delivers judgement and identifies with humanity at our weakest, we also want you to recognise that you are never alone. You are precious in the eternal scheme. We always have a reason to hope.
So if you take one thing from me, remember: you are loved.
And if you can take two things, remember: you are never alone.
And if you ever leave this nest before you can fly, keep on trying – because one day, one way or another, you will fly.
And every day that you remain in this nest, I am grateful for more time to help you learn and to love you in person.
My dear, dear daughter.