Legacy of Love and Pain
Mother's Day gives Tate a special reason to return to church -- her spiritual foundation -- after more than a month's absence.
Tate and Angel are wearing blue suits and plastic red roses with white ribbons on their lapels.
"It's a happy day, a happy day," Tate proclaims as she enters Christ Temple Apostolic Church, where she has worshipped for three decades.
Music is heavy on the saxophone. Voices are silken in harmony.
Tate kneels to pray before standing to join the hymn, Lord I Lift Your Name on High.
Her left arm is extended, and her eyes are closed. She is energizing her soul, absorbing strength and comfort flowing from those around her like rays of the sun.
Tears swell in Tate's eyes during the sermon. delivered by the pastor's wife. She reaches for her Bible, her favorite passages marked with slips of paper and highlighted in yellow.
She weeps to cleanse her burdened heart.
"You remain focused," the preacher instructs her sisters. "And God will see you through it."
Tate nods as if she's speaking only to her.
When the collection plate makes its way to Tate, she gives what she can. She bows and whispers her thanks to God.
The Rev. David Allen Sr. asks Tate and her family to come to the front. He discusses their struggle and reads a special prayer. Tate is overwhelmed.
"We don't understand it now," Tate tells the congregation."But we're going to understand it. We may have tears. We may be weeping. But we wanted to show you that we'll be rejoicing one day."
The pastor announces that the day's collections will benefit the Tate family, which is struggling financially.
Invigorated, Tate is ready to see her daughter. She and Angel have bought a bouquet of plastic roses for Hudson. They can't take real flowers into the burn unit.
King, the young man who helped rescue Hudson by extinguishing the fire, calls to wish Tate a happy Mother's Day.
Things are looking better, and on Monday Hudson is to have another skin graft.
An hour before that surgery, a man from the Harris County Attorney's Office approaches Tate at the hospital. Hudson is to be notified that she and her husband could lose their parental rights because the assault endangered the baby, who was in the room at the time of the attack.
Tate says he can't do this. Not now. LoMonaco overhears the conversation. He tells the man that Hudson has already been sedated.
"That's what's keeping her alive, her children," LoMonaco pleads.
The man leaves without serving the papers, never to return.