A woman dying of ovarian cancer has penned an emotional tribute to the love of her life — which she hopes will serve as his dating profile after she passes.
Amy Krouse Rosenthal published the tribute “You May Want to Marry My Husband” in the latest issue of the New York Times’ Modern Love column. She takes readers through her life-altering diagnosis in 2015, right before she and Jason, her husband of 26 years, were to celebrate their “empty nest” period with a trip to South Africa. Rosenthal writes, “…I’m facing a deadline, in this case, a pressing one. I need to say this (and say it right) while I a) have your attention, and b) a pulse.”
Amy Krouse Rosenthal (Photo: Brooke Hummer Photography)More
The essay, published Friday, has racked up hundreds of comments, with Facebook users calling it a “punch to the gut” and “heartbreakingly beautiful.” In the story’s comment section, a 72-year-old woman who met the love of her life only six years ago wrote, “We both know our time together is limited and share an appreciation that we have experienced this kind of love, even this late in life…you have given all of us a glimpse of what we can and could be when love is our life’s compass.”
A man also shared that his wife of 23 years ended her life after she was diagnosed with an illness. “She left a heartfelt letter in which she encouraged me to marry again,” he wrote. “Through this single act she gave me permission to seek happiness in her absence. It is the greatest gift she could have possibly given me.”
Rosenthal, the author of more than 30 children’s books and Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, which Amazon named one of the top memoirs of the decade, describes how the couple, which has three grown children, met. “It was 1989. We were only 24,” she wrote. “I had precisely zero expectations about this going anywhere. But when he knocked on the door of my little frame house, I thought, ‘Uh-oh, there is something highly likable about this person.’ By the end of dinner, I knew I wanted to marry him. Jason? He knew a year later.”
Admitting that she’s never used dating apps like Tinder, Rosenthal does her best to sell the reader on her husband’s best traits. “First, the basics: He is 5-foot-10, 160 pounds, with salt-and-pepper Hair and hazel eyes.”
Detailing her husband’s flair for fashion, handiness around the house, and cooking talents, she writes, “If you’re looking for a dreamy, let’s-go-for-it travel companion, Jason is your man. He also has an affinity for tiny things: taster spoons, little jars, a mini-sculpture of a couple sitting on a bench, which he presented to me as a reminder of how our family began.
“Here is the kind of man Jason is: He showed up at our first pregnancy ultrasound with flowers. This is a man who, because he is always up early, surprises me every Sunday morning by making some kind of oddball smiley face out of items near the coffeepot: a spoon, a mug, a banana.”
“This is a man who emerges from the minimart or gas station and says, ‘Give me your palm.’ And, voilà, a colorful gumball appears. (He knows I love all the flavors but white.)”
“My guess is you know enough about him now. So let’s swipe right. Wait. Did I mention that he is incredibly handsome? I’m going to miss looking at that face of his.”
Rosenthal admits, “I probably have only a few days left being a person on this planet. So why I am doing this? I am wrapping this up on Valentine’s Day, and the most genuine, non-vase-oriented gift I can hope for is that the right person reads this, finds Jason, and another love story begins. I’ll leave this intentional empty space below as a way of giving you two the fresh start you deserve.”
In case there is any doubt to the sincerity of Rosenthal’s sentiment, she ends with, “With all my love, Amy.”
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