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Friday, May 6, 2016

Tom's First Year in Heaven

Today my family and I face a heartbreaking anniversary and we ask for your help. On this day last year, May 6th, 2015, at 1:55 pm, after a horrendous battle with cancer, my husband Tom left this world. Tom was an amazing husband, father, and friend to many.  Having served in the Army, he witnessed the violence and suffering of hatred and war, and lived every day of his life as a peacemaker with an unwavering belief in the Lord. Tom was as strong as an ox yet gentle and kind. He was patient and forgiving. Most of all, he was a realist; throughout our lives he was our hero in so many ways, especially in the manner in which he fought an aggressive, excruciating sarcoma, accepting his fate without ever questioning why or complaining. In a letter he left for me to open after his death, Tom asked me to remember the good times, not the bad. Remember him healthy and don't dwell on his illness or final months and days. It's a hell of a daily fight, but we're all trying.

I have two regrets; because of our responsibilities and life in general, Tom and I didn't hug enough, and as many married couples, we often locked horns. But we stood side by side for thirty-nine of the best years of my life. In a letter, Tom's final goodbye to me was: "I'll see you on the other side." This was my Tom. This is and will always be my Tom. There could never be another.

So friends, during the short time we have on this earth, please take advantage of every single beautiful moment you share with loved ones, even if things don’t seem so beautiful. Hug and kiss them like there's no tomorrow.  Don't argue over silly things, and be quick to forgive. With compassion and love, you'll never have regrets.
Please join me in remembering Tom Valentine with thoughts and prayers that my sweetest husband is at peace in the arms of Jesus, Amen. Thank you.

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