I have been following the CaringBridge site for a young woman diagnosed with cancer when she was pregnant. The baby was delivered early so the woman could receive treatment. The baby struggles in an NICU now, trying to overcome her too-early start in life. But the young woman lost the fight and passed away last week.
Her husband writes beautifully of the entire sadness. (You will need to enter your email address to view the journal). He puts his emotions into words that are very moving. In the post immediately after the news of her death, he published 101 things he had loved about his wife. But here’s the amazing thing – he wrote them long before she was even diagnosed. He sent them to her in an email several years ago and was just reprinting it now for those of us following their story. The list was just beautiful. It said things like, “I loved when you taught me how to ice-skate”, “I love it when you laugh at my jokes”, “I love that you love your family so much”, and “I love your bumper” – the last of which I’m pretty sure is code for something a little cheekier than an automobile – but I can’t know for sure. The list is very personal, including situations they had experienced together and a couple of inside jokes.
It moved me. One hundred and ONE – that’s quite a few. And what moved me the most, of course, is that she got to see it herself. She knew all those things that he loved about her long before she left.
Um, do I actually have to tie up the moral here? Because I don’t think I have time. Perhaps you could just listen to the scratching of my pen: “Dear Michael, I love the way you sign your cards to me . . . I love your chiseled jaw . . . I love that when we were in Silver Dollar City on our anniversary, you missed the kids . . .”
“Dear John, I love that you iron your shorts.”
“Dear Drew, I love your sense of humor.”
“Dear Jake, I love when you get thirsty and tell me so by bringing me the jug of milk.”