So much has been learned and said over the past few days. So much of it is painful.
First of all, Chuck and Judy Cox will be fine. They will get through this.
I know them just well enough to know that they have the faith to truly believe it when they say, "Charlie and Braden are with their mother. They're safe now."
With Chuck and Judy sitting on the edge of the beds the boys had slept in, we talked a lot on Monday morning about faith and the future.
Their future had revolved around the little boys.
The large white room they'd added onto their house with the newly installed carpet was meant for the boys. In the side yard surrounded on two sides by big beautiful pines, they were even digging a pond for them. A place to play. A place for boys to be boys.
They were going to take them to Disneyland and SeaWorld this summer. They said they were just the right age to really enjoy it. The perfect trip.
Now such plans have been set aside, replaced by funeral plans.
Chuck and Judy talked about how much the Charlie and Braden had changed in just the past few months. When they first arrived at their home, they were in a shell. Disconnected. Afraid. A little rebellious.
Gradually, they warmed to their grandparents who then reintroduced the young boys to their mother, Susan Powell. At first they wouldn't talk about her or even say the word, "mom." But that too, changed.
Braden, the youngest, was told he had his mother's looks and smile. Charlie, the oldest, learned he had some of his mother's personality and playfulness. Charlie loved the pond.
At the end of my talk with Chuck and Judy Cox, we hugged. I thought I was comforting them, but they thought I was the one who needed comforting.
There were tears in my eyes.
Just a few minutes before it had all come together for me. I realized there was a purpose for all their efforts.
All that patient love, all the talking about their mother, Susan, had not been in vain.
Chuck and Judy didn't know it, but they had been preparing the sons to be reunited with the mother.
They were getting them reacquainted.
That is what I believe.