It is with a heavy heart that I write you today. On October 22, 2019 at 11:20 AM my Maria, my Wife, my light, passed away. I was with her at her passing holding her hand, surrounded by family.
The last year has been a struggle for us all as we all watched Maria’s body and mind degrade. She was always a shining light in my life. Even on the hard days she would find a way to shine through if just for a moment. The evening before her passing was especially rough. I did not think she was going to make it through the night but she did because she was a fighter. The next morning she ate and drank a light breakfast. She spoke with Alexander and asked him to show her his show and tell for school that day. This was an important moment for us all, especially Alexander, because I had told him to say goodbye the previous evening. Alexander excitedly shared his show and tell with Mommy one last time. A few hours later she was gone.
My world, the world, became a little darker with her passing. But I am exceedingly lucky to have had Maria in my life. I never thought I was going to be someone who would get married and start a family. But when Maria was rediscovered in my life and we began dating, my love for life grew and I knew that I had found (or more accurately she found me) someone I wanted to spend my life with and have a family with. Maria always wanted children, I was always apprehensive, and proposed we compromised and get a dog. Maria was made to be a mother, she had the heart, brains, energy and personality to love and nurture a child. And on July 16, 2014 we welcomed Alexander into our lives. Maria was ready, she was excited, she had BIG plans for Alexander. I was scared. We were going to travel together, she was going to teach him Spanish and share all of her passions, hopes and dreams. It was going to be AMAZING.
Three months later we were overshadowed by the diagnosis. We were all devastated. Things did not look good. But, as we have all come to learn Maria was a fighter and the strongest person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. And so, for the next five years Maria OUT LIVED IT. We traveled with Alexander, going to Hawaii, Florida twice to see the Magic Kingdom, Epcot and the Animal Kingdom. We went to North Carolina with friends and family, California and Disney Land. Maria and I traveled to Spain. Maria went to Colorado to rock climb and Costa Rica for more adventures with her First Descents friends. It was AMAZING, she was AMAZING.
Now here I am, Alexander is in bed sleeping, and I’m reflecting on our Amazing life together, next to a pile of used tissues. I was privileged to have been with Maria for 13 years and married to her for 9. Together we traveled the world and met far too many people for me to remember all of your names. So please forgive me. Maria’s personality drew people to her. She would often come home from the grocery store and tell me about the new friend she met in the check out line. “I just have an approachable face” she would tell me. And she did. She always had a smile ready for whomever needed it, or had her tongue out if she was concentrating on something. Even towards the end when someone would come into the room and speak with her, Maria would give them a smile. She often would not remember the visit but I know we all remembered the smile.
I never thought I would get married but because of Maria I did. I never thought Maria would proceed me in death. She had the personality to move on to meet someone new or draw into her large LARGE group of friends. I never thought we wouldn’t reach our 50th anniversary, let alone miss our 10th. I never thought I’d lose her and have to raise Alexander on my own. I was scared before, I’m terrified now.
But. I believe if I can channel just a portion of Maria’s heart, of Maria’s light I can be a great father for Alexander. Because Maria was a GREAT MOTHER even though it was too short. So that is my goal moving forward, to be the father Maria wanted me to be. I will stumble and I will fall but as long as I have Maria in my heart I know I will succeed.
So, now my friends I must ask something of you. Maria biggest fear was Alexander would not remember the Maria we all knew and loved. The energetic, kind, loving Maria we all fell in love with. She feared he will only remember tired sick Maria. Alexander loved, loves Mommy. I know this because “Mommy” was his favorite word, he was always asking for Mommy, tired or not he wanted her affection. So, in the years to come I ask you to share your stories of Maria with Alexander so he never forgets what a wonderful person she was and how much she loved him.
Now I must say good bye. I hope my words have not cheapened Maria’s more eloquent writing.
I love you and I miss you dearly. This past year and the last few months have been especially difficult for me. Please forgive me if I hurt you or did not spend enough time with you. My deepest regret is that I was not more open with you. I tried to share but more often turned inside. Please forgive me. I will do my best to raise Alexander the way you would have wished. I promise to do my best to be the father and man you want me to be.
I will alway Love you. I will alway miss you, now and forever. You will always be my lil buns, my friend, my Wife. I will always be your thunder calves, your friend, your Husband.