Thank you all for your support today.
The girls and I held up a lot better than I anticipated, and I’m certain that a special angel was guiding us through.
I wrote a letter to Chad that our dear friend Mark, the pastor today, shared on my behalf.
I can’t think of anything else to say today.
So, I’m sharing the letter with you.
I’m taking the girls on a little surprise getaway tomorrow before we discover our new ‘normal’.
My dearest Chad ,
There are things I want to remember that have nothing to do with the terrible disease that began stealing precious moments from us and stole you from our lives much too soon.
I will remember our first date and how nervous we both were to know we had something so special so early in our relationship.
I will remember the letters, cards & flowers you sent to me for no special occasion, only to let me know you were thinking of me.
I will remember the way my stomach twisted into butterfly tangles each time you reached for my hand.
I will remember how nervous you were to tell me you loved me for the first time, unsure if I would reciprocate. Of course I did. You’re easy to love.
I will remember the joy I felt when you asked me to be your wife, nervously slipping a ring on my finger that you had carried around for a week, waiting for the perfect moment.
I will remember the day you accepted Jesus Christ during one of our premarital counseling sessions.
I will remember the tender, consuming look on your face as I walked down the aisle on our wedding day, a perfect August morning in 2001.
I will remember the overwhelming love, hopefulness and anxiety as we prepared our home for our first child, our sweet Carys.
I will remember you rocking her for hours in her star-filled nursery and quietly promising her the world.
I will remember the sacrifices we made for you to finish your Master’s Degree, all with the promise of a better future.
I will remember the excited commotion around the birth of our second child, our baby Cailyn.
I will remember you embracing her with loving arms and a full heart.
I will remember our first days as a family of four; and how happy, excited, and triumphant we were…but exhausted.
I will remember your love for all things NC State, and how you loved it when the Tar Heels were defeated, no matter the opponent.
I will remember your boisterous laughter, your genuine smile and your affection for practical jokes.
I will remember the pride your parents feel for all you’ve accomplished. They are so proud of you, and I think everyone knows it; their baby, their handsome, intelligent, witty and charming son.
I will remember the pride I felt when people told me how lucky I was; what a good, honest & loyal man you were and how much your coworkers genuinely appreciated your dedication.
I will remember your opinionated nature and strong will. You always stood up for what you felt was right, even if no one else, including me, saw things exactly the same way as you did.
I will remember your brilliance. You are, truly, the most brilliant man I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.
I will remember our life, our hopes, our dreams for our precious children.
I will also remember to have someone else help them with their math homework, because that is definitely your strong suit.
I will remember your vibrant blue eyes every time I look into our daughter’s faces. They have the same hue, sparkle and kindness as yours.
I will remember you tossing our girls up into the air, just to hear them giggle hysterically, knowing it nearly gave me a heart attack each time you did it.
I will remember, every day, that we were given the gift of each other and we were fortunate enough to experience such a full life in a short amount of time.
I will remember, every day, to make sure our daughters know exactly what kind of man you are.
I will remember, every day, that you were mine for a time and you gave to me, to our daughters, so selflessly.
I will remember, every day, your promises to me to love, honor and protect us; which you have gallantly done.
I will remember, every day, to uphold my promises to you and raise our children while focusing on the dreams and hopes we had planned for them together.
I will remember, every day, that’s it’s okay to miss you. It’s okay to cry. And it’s okay to let you go.
I will remember, forever, to be thankful for every moment I was allowed to spend with you.
I will remember.
I love you.