Cynthia wrote this letter to her husband while facing the challenge of a potentially life-limiting illness and an uncertain future.
I’m writing this to let you know what is in my heart. Yes, you know I love you and you mean the world to me, but I’m not sure you know how much or why. You also know that I sometimes have difficulty speaking aloud what I feel in my heart because the words become jumbled on my tongue. Since I’m a writer, I will put in words what I cannot say in voice.
You have taught me many things during our twenty-nine years together, the greatest being love. As you know, I came from a world where love and affection was not freely shown – the only time I knew either was a bruised knee, a cut, or the flu. I remember thinking it odd the way you and your siblings showed love and affection towards each other – hugs without reason, words of love and support without question. It took me many years to act that freely, yet, today, I still struggle. It’s often difficult to break habits of upbringing.
We’ve had our share of struggles – more than we could count – yet what I remember most is your love. I remember the day we met, the day we married and the day we renewed our vows. The one constant throughout our marriage has been love. It’s true that I may not shower you with kisses and hugs as often as you’d like and we irritate each other at times, but this does not mean I love you any less. My love for you has grown with each passing day.
I feel this when you look at me: your smile lights me up as sunshine lights the earth, your laughter ripples through me like a soft breeze rustling through the leaves, and your eyes dance like the flicker of candlelight. When you touch me, I am alive and I know the feeling of being loved.
My only regret about our life together is that we did not have children. I do not know why, only God knows that. I see you with our nieces and nephews and know that you would have made a wonderful dad. Your caring, support and love would have given our children everything they needed to face this world. I know this to be true because you have given me the same.
You have given me the courage to battle my demons, the support to attend and graduate from college though I was old enough to be mom to most of the other students, and the strength to fight back against cancer. I could not have done these without you.
As we face an uncertain future tinged by the threat of death, my only consolation is having known and been loved by you. Thank you for giving me courage, for giving me support, and for giving me strength. Most of all, thank you for showing me love and showing me how to love.