It’s a conversation we probably all eventually have.
“Would you remarry if I were to die?”
Let’s face it though, it’s tough enough to contemplate such a tragedy in the first place, let alone to figure out if you could start a life with someone new.
But if we were all to be honest, most of us would much prefer that our partner be happy, and after a suitable amount of time, find someone compatible to move on with.
It is unknown if this conversation ever took place between Brenda Schmitz and her husband David, but she certainly gave it some thought when she became terminally ill. When she wrote two letters to be forwarded onto a radio station, renowned for granting wishes, this is what happened.
“Hello my name is Brenda Schmitz and when you are in receipt of this letter I will already have lost my battle to ovarian cancer.”
And with that sentence Brenda, who had passed away two years earlier, changed the lives of her husband, four young sons, and one other woman she wasn’t sure if she even knew, forever.
In September 2011, mother of four, Brenda Schmitz passed away. She was 46. As a parting gift, she entrusted a letter to a friend, who remains anonymous, to deliver when the time was right. The letter was addressed to a local Des Moines, Iowa, radio station and contained two other letters; one for her husband David and another for the new love of his life.
The letter had been written by Brenda a month before she succumbed to ovarian cancer and passed away.
David was invited to the studio, where they read out her beautiful letter.
Watch the video below as David hears it for the very first time, live on air.
I am writing this letter to have sent to you by a dear friend who has instructions to do so when it was the time.
I told her once my loving husband David had moved on in his life and had found someone to share his life with again to mail this letter to all of you at the station.
As I was thinking about my last months on earth I told David my wishes after I was gone that I believe he followed through with the attitude and courage I know he possesses.
What a great husband and father he is. I know all of this is extremely hard on him. He is the one making the best decisions for my family and ultimately finding a caring, compassionate loving woman in time to help raise the boys.
She must be quite a lady (I wish I could have met her) to take on the task of raising a large extended family with unwavering love and devotion and a huge heart.
We have four boys Carter, Josh, Justin and my little Max. Max is the youngest at two years old.
I was diagnosed right after his first birthday. No child as young as Max should have to lose his mother and it brings tears to my eyes now thinking of it. God I will miss seeing him and the boys grow up to be fine men. I have relayed to David to try and not let him forget me. He is such a bright, intelligent and beautiful boy.
My reason for writing this is I have a wish for David and the boys and the woman and her family if she has kids also. I want them to know I love them very much and hope they always feel safe in a world of pain.
I was hoping that one small act you all could do for me could change their and help lives for ever and they know I am with them always.
David said there had been many signs that Brenda was with he and the children since she died. The most telling, a giant rainbow that appeared on the morning of her death, after many weeks without rain. Brenda’s favourite song to sing to her son Max was ‘Over the Rainbow’.
Brenda’s first wish was for a day or a weekend of pampering for her husband’s new love, Jane:
She deserves it. Being a stepmother to all those boys, and especially giving little Max a mother’s love that only she can give. Make her smile and know her efforts are truly appreciated from me.
She added: “Thank you. I love you, whoever you are.”
Having two children of her own, Jane received a letter of her own, sent privately via the radio station.
Brenda’s next wish was for her family.
For the family: a magical trip. Somewhere where they all can enjoy their company and companionship as a family and create those memories that will be with them forever.
Her final wish was for something special for the nurses and doctors in her cancer unit at Mercy Medical Centre:
A night out full of drinks, food and fun for all they do every day for the cancer patients they encounter.
All three of Brenda’s wishes were granted by the station with help from sponsors, with the family of eight flying to Disney World with all expenses paid. As you can imagine, the supply of Kleenex was exhausted by all after the reading of the letter.