The other day, I started cleaning out the scrapbook area in the basement. It was the only section of the house that hasn't been unpacked yet. I uncovered so many things in those boxes: pictures, written letters, things the kids made for you, special things I had written down to remember. I was reading Faith's mini-album I made her for her 3rd birthday, and she told me she wanted to grow up to play ball like her daddy and that her favorite thing to do was wrestle with you. The most painful were the letters that you had written to the kids for their birthdays. I actually didn't remember you writing one for Caleb (I remember bugging you about it, but I didn't know you finished it) so when I found it in his envelope, it was like someone had punched be in the throat. Baby, for all that I have suffered and lost, I grieve so much more for our children. I could give you up if it meant our children could have their daddy back. You were such a wonderful daddy and the wound was ripped open new the other day going through it all.
After going through all that, I ached to find more of your things, read more of your things. I wanted to feel close to you and spend time with you and my memories of you. So, I went back through the box I keep next to my bed, full of letters and keepsakes over the course of our relationship. All the letters I wrote for you for different milestone anniversaries - I had finally opened them a few months back - and they twist the dagger in my heart as I realize I will never get to speak those words to you or read the letters to you. Then, I read the letter I wrote for you to read if I died before you. I've read it a few times (and I say very few, because it is too much most of the time) and have debated sharing it. Today, I am able.
Hello my love,A few things came to my mind when I read this. The first is how young I sound (20 is young, though). The second is how little I knew about loss and death when I wrote it. If I had to write it now, I might be more practical, and tell you how it might hurt to breathe and it's okay to curl up into a ball if you need to. Or I might write about how to take a break when taking care of 3 kids on your own becomes too overwhelming, and don't be afraid to ask for help. Or I would tell you to take things at your own pace and not worry about others and the way they grieve, everyone is different. Or I would tell you that there would never be anything more painful in your life than losing our love, but if you could survive that, you could survive anything. Or maybe I wouldn't change it because at the end of the day, the only thing there really is to say is that I love you and I want to see you again.
If you are opening this letter, it means that my life has passed before yours. I have always said that I would rather die before you so that I wouldn't have to live a day without you. Even though it's too late now if you are opening this, I know now that I would rather suffer without you than to make you suffer. I never want to cause you pain. I am so sorry if this is causing pain and suffering, but please know that it will be okay.
I have tears welling up right now while I am writing this just thinking about all of our memories. Words cannot express the joy and love you have shown me. I have never in my life found anyone who can make me smile that way you do, who can heal my wounds as quickly as you, and who can fill me up the way you do. I know that even if I lived to be a thousand, I would never find that again. Baby, I love you with all that I am, and no one can break what we share.
I want you to know that my life was such a blessing. God has blessed me with so much. Even if there was something that I didn't get to do, I know that it won't matter anymore. Now I can look down from Heaven and be satisfied knowing that you are moving on and being happy, and doing all the things you dreamed of. More than anything, I want you to be happy. No matter when I die, no matter how old, that is my wish for you. As hard as it is to say, I want you to be able to move on. Don't forget about me. but know that as long as you are happy, let your heart and God lead you.
Promise me one thing - let God take over in everything. If we have children, don't let a day go by without them knowing that I love them, and that God is the only one who can change their lives. If not, tell yourself that. I need to make sure that this is not the last time I get to see you.
I don't want to leave anything unsaid or unfinished, and I am sorry if I have. There is nothing more that I can think of to tell you other than that I love you. You are the love of my life. You are my one and only. Nothing is more important to me than that. Thank you for filling my life full of love and laughter and giving me so much to remember.
This is my chance to say good-bye. My prayer is that you will only remember the good things. I know that I'm not perfect and that I've had my moments of regret, but you far surpass any obstacle I could face. God gave you to me when I needed you the most, and He has let me keep you in my life as my husband. You are my greatest gift and my biggest treasure. You are my angel. I only hope that I have left with you half as many wonderful memories as you have given me. I know God has an awesome plan for you, so reach for the stars. When you get there, I will be waiting just beyond.
I will see you in Heaven, my love. I can't wait to see you. I miss you already. I love you with all that I am.
Love always and forever and ever and ever and ever,
But every time I read it, I tried to hear your voice in it. I remember wishing you would write me a letter like this just in case. I would have BEGGED you to if I had known, just to have something to hold on to. So I pretend you wrote this to me. Truthfully, I CAN hear you in most of it, I know you would say the same things. I know you want me to be happy, I have felt you telling me that a lot lately. I tell the kids every day how much you love them - they will never doubt that. And I have felt even to a greater degree after your death, how much you love me. Such an ironic experience to appreciate love and life in a way you could never possibly before and no longer have it to appreciate.
I guess I just want you to know that I love you, and I am holding on to the pieces left behind. Like a mosaic masterpiece, all these little pieces that on their own are just useless, broken pieces of glass....but when all the broken pieces are put together can create something meaningful and beautiful. Slowly, I am putting something together piece by piece. I don't even know what it is yet, they still just seem like useless broken pieces of my heart, but I put them side by side and try to fill in the empty spaces left behind with love and memories, family and friends, and trust that a masterpiece is being created. It is not what I intended to do with my heart, and the pieces will never come together in the same way again, but I see now that it can still be beautiful and meaningful.
Thank you for teaching my about life and love. I miss you every single day and I WILL see you again. I love you always and forever.