May 7, a date etched in our hearts forever, came unexpectedly, leaving a permanent mark on our lives. The day we lost a precious gift hit us like a blast. No signs, no warnings. It just happened, and Jerry and I were left grappling with reality. As Texa's parents, the pain cut deep within our hearts.
I can still recall when the detective broke the news to Jerry and me, revealing that Texa had passed away the day before Mother's Day. Since that day, my heart has been broken into a thousand pieces. Knowing that our daughter will never walk through our front door again has been a surreal experience of incredible and overwhelming sadness.
I stumble through each day, wishing I could have a face-to-face conversation with God and ask questions that haunt my soul. Although unseen, I carry an internal weight of excruciating pain. I long for a moment of divine discourse. God will give me this chance. However, even His words in Job 5:26, "You will go to the grave at a ripe old age, like a sheaf of grain harvested at the proper time!" (NLT), offer little comfort.
Today marks one year since we gathered with loved ones to say goodbye to Texa. Our farewell to such a precious soul is never truly over unless we are united in the presence of Christ.
On the morning of the memorial service, May 20, fourteen days after Texa's died, I woke up in a daze. Tears had flowed daily until that day, but as I faced the final act, I could not summon them. We held two memorial services that day—one private, family only, and one open to the public. The latter was packed to the brim, standing room only, with friends and family coming to pay their respects. The hours that followed the service were filled with shared meals and heartwarming stories.
As we lived through a parent's worst nightmare, many unexpected faces graced the occasion, offering hugs, whispered words, and sad smiles. It was a nightmare that involved saying goodbye to a beloved child, now safely held in the arms of her Heavenly Father. Texa was a girl who radiated love, surrounding herself with its embrace.
I hesitated to walk down the aisle when the funeral director signaled it was time. Instead, I turned and hugged Jerry, preparing myself to witness the celebration of my daughter's life tragically cut short. Memories flooded my mind, and uncontrollable pain swept through me.
It was the most difficult thing I've ever done, a challenge that only those who have experienced it can truly understand. Now, one year has come and gone.
This year has been excruciating. I have lived through the lens of my pain every moment, every day. I have dedicated countless hours to pondering and processing what transpired, grappling with the immense loss I have endured. Gradually, over weeks and months, I have grown stronger by engaging in the necessary work of grief. Life has woven itself around my sorrow, and I have discovered that joy and sadness coexist. The world is no longer a grayscale canvas; colors seep in again. The shattered fragments of my heart have been rearranged into a mosaic.
Our family of three has become a resilient family of two. We have weathered stormy seas, never succumbed to despair, and walked like the three Hebrew boys through fiery trials. God was with us in those moments, silently weeping, wailing, and smiling.
Jerry and I are immensely grateful to everyone who supported us when we celebrated Texa's life. Your presence and kindness touched our hearts in ways we cannot express. And we are forever thankful for everyone who has supported us since then.
It is still astonishing to me that nearly a year has passed. In the past, Texa was an integral part of every video, every picture, and every swim video. But now, she is gone from every present and future memory. Satan may have tried to shake our faith, but God is still on our side, and we will move forward with unwavering faith.
Today has a sacred meaning. It draws a clear line in the sand, dividing my life into "before" and "after." It deserves to be remembered.
Texa deserves to be remembered.
So, on this day, I will remember. I will remember the unbreakable bonds that bind us even across great distances. Our love for Texa exists now and forever, and nothing will change. She is with God and his angels watching over us in the blessed kingdom of Heaven.