Today’s Only One letter is from Brian Dean….and these are his parents, William & Patricia. You gotta love that Dad has his camera at the ready, when he’s getting his picture taken!
Brian and I meet years ago working for CitiStreet in Jacksonville, Florida. It was the kind of place where just about everyone knew each other. I’ll always remember meeting him for the first time because he’s from Massachusetts and has that great accident! (You know the one…)
We reconnected just a couple of months ago, and had the best conversation about the verb-ish meaning of gratitude. When I asked him to write a letter….his answer was “I would be honored.” That’s just how Brian is….and this is his letter.
Dear Mom and Dad,
I have not written a letter to you in a long time so this one is overdue. This letter will focus on your marriage vows that you took over 42 years ago. “I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.”
Over the last 5 months you have taught me so many valuable lessons in life and most importantly in marriage. I know you do not want to relive the last 5 months but I feel it is important to walk through this dark time for the two of you to highlight my gratitude.
At the beginning of October Dad was diagnosed with cancer and Mom you started to have complications with your Lupus where it affected your right foot. By the end of October Mom you were hospitalized and Dad scheduled his appointment for his cancer to be removed. Mom in early November your foot situation got so bad you had to be rushed to the Massachusettes General hospital from the Winchester hospital. At this point you were away from home and Dad for over 35 days. The separation of you and Dad was heart wrenching. This was the first time in 42 years that the two you did not go to sleep together in the same bed. I not only saw the pain in your face but in the words you spoke to each other in the hospital.
Even though the two of you were heart broken you both stayed strong for each other and showed each other how much you loved one another.
In mid November Dad had his cancer surgery and you unfortunately had to have your right leg removed. I know the loss of your leg was very traumatic for you but you did not want the focus to be on you. You wanted the focus to be on Dad as he was recovering from his cancer surgery. On the other side of things, Dad you were not focused on your cancer surgery, you were focused on Mom and your unrelenting goal to be by her side as she went through horrible loss.
October and November were the darkest months of your 42 year marriage but the two of you lived up to your marriage vows.
In December the sun began to shine a little as Mom got released from the hospital to enter rehab and learn how to live life as an amputee. Dad you had to start your chemo treatments to kill the rest of the cancer and get back to good health again. By the end of December Mom was released from rehab and headed home after 67 days of not being home. Dad you fought through the Chemo treatment so you could take care of Mom at home with only one leg. Dad you put Mom first every moment of the day even if you felt ill. Mom you put Dad first trying your best to care for him when he was so tired from the Chemo.
You showed me such an amazing display of gratitude for each other.
As others rang in 2012 with Champagne, you rang in the New Year with stronger love for each other because the two of you made it through these dark days by following your marriage vows and showing tremendous gratitude for each other.
I want to thank you for teaching me such valuable lessons in life and in marriage. I am a better person and husband today because of the two of you.
I am forever grateful for you and proud to have you as my parents.
Love always, Brian : – )