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'I miss him with all of my heart'

  • Leanna Harris spoke about her son's hot car death publicly for the first time at his funeral on Saturday
  • 'Am I angry with God? No. This is part of His plan for Ross and I,' she told the crowd
  • Justin Ross Harris has been charged with murder after leaving the toddler strapped in a hot car for hours
'I miss him with all of my heart'

Dad told police he researched child deaths

Dad told police he researched child deaths

HLN will bring you live coverage of Justin Ross Harris' court hearing on Thursday starting at 1:30 p.m. ET.

Cooper Harris' family laid him to rest on Saturday, a little over a week after his father left him inside a hot car for hours while he went to work.

Police have charged Justin Ross Harris with murder and second-degree child cruelty in his son's death. He has pleaded not guilty and says he forgot to drop the 22-month-old off at daycare.

The boy's mother, Leanna Harris, spoke out publicly for the first time since the incident when she addressed mourners at the Tuscaloosa, Alabama, funeral this weekend.

Read more: Cops: Toddler's mom also researched child deaths

Here's what she had to say:

"First of all, Ross I love you and I'm doing this for you, OK. This is not where I expected to be here today. Two years ago when we welcomed a 6-pound, 8-ounce perfect baby into the world, this never crossed my mind. A lot of you know how much I prayed for a child and how much I worried about never being able to have a child," Leanna Harris said, adding that it happened in God's time.

"He was perfect -- he was and he is perfect. He changed mine and Ross' life. I've talked to you about the magnitude in which he changed it. As children do, he turned our lives upside down," she said. She described cleaning, changing diapers, dinner time, bath time, and finally what she called "mommy time" and said she wouldn't trade it for the world.  

Read more: Hot car kid deaths can be prevented

"Any of that time that I spend doing over and over and over, I would never trade that. Cooper's last two nights at home, he had trouble sleeping," she said, calling it unusual. During the last two nights, "he slept in between me and Ross snuggling in between both of us. I remember turning over in the middle of the night, his mouth was open and his full toddler lips just breathing right into my face. I will cherish that moment forever. Some of you might wonder how I'm even standing here today. I wonder that myself and I asked myself that question over and over the last week," she said.

"I should be crumpled into a heap of snot and tears into the dirt, but the Lord is holding me up right now. He is holding Ross up. And he is holding both of us up when we can't hold ourselves up. I miss my son and I will miss him forever."

Read more: Warrant: Dad checked on car while son was inside

She then went on to list the things she was happy her son will skip: His first heartbreak, junior high and high school [the audience laughed as she said she didn't like either one of them], who to sit with at lunch in those awkward middle school years. She also said he will not have to suffer through the deaths of his grandparents and the deaths of his father and mother.

"I miss him with all of my heart. Would I bring him back? No. To bring him back into this broken world would be selfish," she said. "Am I angry with God? No. This is part of His plan for Ross and I. Is this our purpose? I don't know. I'm still waiting on the Lord to reveal that to me. Am I angry with Ross? Absolutely not. It has never crossed my mind. Ross is and was and will be, if we have more children, a wonderful father. Ross is a wonderful daddy and leader for our children [there is loud clapping at this last statement]. Cooper meant the world to him. There was not a day that went by that we did not say how blessed we were able to have him in our lives."

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