Last week I found a copy of The Velveteen Rabbit that Emmett had sent me while we were engaged and living on separate continents. Inside he wrote:
My love - I saw this and thought how much like the velveteen rabbit you are to me. You are incredibly awesome, and I want to love you till all the of the pink rubs off your nose and till your fur and whiskers don't look like such. The older we shall grow together, all the more beautiful and special you will be to me...Memories of Emmett seem to grow stronger as his illness fades away. I've just wrapped up some time in a cabin on the Toccoa River in north Georgia. It was a sweet time away, playing in the river's edge with Quinn, watching the mountain laurel blooms float down stream like tiny teacups, and enjoying nature. When we went tubing on the river, I could recall Emmett's laughter almost perfectly and thought about how much he would have enjoyed being with us. As I hiked up the side of a waterfall, I could point out exactly where he would have stopped to help me, almost feeling the touch of his strong hands. And as Quinn and I played in the river's edge, I longed for Emmett to be there because he would have found ways to make us laugh that I could never imagine.
So now we're home, and tonight it feels like I've lost him all over again. I'm snuggled up in one of his favorite jackets, unpacking and crying and writing. It is one of those nights when I wonder how long life gets harder before it starts getting easier. And yet, I'm content to dwell in sorrow for as long as necessary because, though it is deep, it cannot separate me from the love of Christ. If I can grieve this deeply, then how much more has God grieved for us. If I can weep this much, then how much more has God wept for us. I am surprised to find that sorrow reaffirms the love of God better than happiness ever could. So for the mean time, I will explore God's love to the fullest extent and let it wash over me, making me new.