Today I don't cry because I'm sad, angry, or hurt. Today I cry because I am reminded of the incredible man that you were and how proud I am of you and the life that you made for yourself. I am remembering the special place that you held in hundreds, and maybe even thousands, of peoples hearts during your short life here on Earth.
Knowing that you touched so many people and brought joy and inspiration to hundreds of family, friends, and even strangers who read your story online, it is a great honor to be able to say that I knew you, let alone that you chose me to be your wife, caregiver, and biggest supporter. I got a privilege of a lifetime when you to let me into your life, first as a friend and then as a spouse, even though you knew the hundreds of different outcomes that could have transpired both early on in our relationship, and later when you grew to be old. I am so glad that it was me who got to know you, love you, and create bond with you on such a deep and intimate level. I feel like very few people share the bond and love that we had, my sweet Spencer. We were so lucky. So lucky. This kind of love doesn't come around often. It takes two very special individuals to create something to strong. We shared a bond that even to this day remains so incredibly strong when our time shared together was so, so little. Even your vows said to me that we have "a love so strong that even the hand of death will only part us for a moment." It is a good reminder that even though this time without you feels like forever already, this is truly only a moment without you when compared with an eternity with you.
In that week leading up to your death, when we knew for a fact that it was immanent, I was overwhelmed to the point where I was numbed with the hundreds of people who sent cards to you, e-mails to you, messages to you, and people who came to the hospital to show their support and love to you. These simple acts of kindness and devotion that were shown to you live on and touch me to this day; 7 months later. They remind me of your sweet spirit and the joy and inspiration that you infected people with through your story, your kind words, your handshake, and even just your smile.
I find a Christmas card and remember the ongoing efforts of friends, family, and strangers to shower us with as many care packages and cards to make our Christmas season filled with love and joy.
I find a link to event that I made on Facebook to gather hundreds of prayer warriors for you. I'm reminded of the many people who prayed and fasted for you to help keep you comfortable and spent hours praying that a miracle would happen to keep you alive and well so that we could spend our first Christmas together as husband and wife.
I find the wall decorations that friends took the time to make and send to you so that your hospital room could be bright and cheery to lift your mood.
I find "thinking of you" cards and sympathy cards sent to both you and I from my close family members and my close friends who may have not even met you. They touch me so deeply that I cannot help but shed tears because even though they only met you once or twice, or even not at all, the impact that you clearly made on them in the message that they tried to convey is beyond something that I can even fathom.
And then I find what I have called the "Spencer Book". The book with over 180 messages sent to you through your hospital e-mail that the staff was so kind to print out and give to me in a little book. These messages were sent in the short time of only 3 days. I think there are 188 messages in all, to be exact and this doesn't even include the personal e-mails, voicemails, texts, cards, and messages that I alone received and was asked to read to you. I read as many of these messages as I possibly could to you -- when you were asleep and awake. It was important to me and to others that you heard all of them.
And it's the messages such as this that touch me the most:
The messages from strangers who live thousands of miles away yet heard of your story and were touched
((Inset picture of message from guy from a different country))
Or messages from dear friends who got to know you and were touched by the man that you were:
((Insert picture of message from Josh Mogren))
These are only two out of 188 of those messages. Each one of them reads similar, yet different from the other.
I read these and wonder how on Earth I got so lucky to be married to such an amazing man as you. Spencer you made me so proud, in more ways than one.
I am proud of your determination to fight through your many, many struggles and adversities that you faced every single day.
I am proud of your strength to support me even when you were sick.
I am proud of the way you held on as long as you possibly could
I am proud of the man that you grew to be
I am proud of you for the husband that you were to me
I am proud of the way you let no one judge you
I am proud of the way that you stood up for yourself, always
I am proud of the compassion that you gave to others
I am proud of you putting everyone else before yourself because of their importance to you -- you always let them know they were loved
I am proud of you for not giving up on me and standing by my side; of being my biggest supporter
I am proud of you for not giving up on YOU even though there were so many times that you wanted to
Spence, I'm just proud. Period. And I hope that you were proud of me, and you continue to be proud of the journey that I travel and all of the choices that I have made and will continue to make. If it's one that that I want to do for YOU -- it is to make you proud.
I am sure that there are many variations of peoples accounts of the kind of person you were…. but this is the Spencer that lives on in my heart. <3 This is the Spencer that I will never, ever forget.
Missing you and loving you every second of every day my Pea, my love, my confidant, and my hero.