Thank you Don McConnell. Thank you for your incredible being. Thank you for the 17 wonderful years we had together - for the 5 amazing children you gave me - for the late night talks when all you wanted to do was sleep - for waking our daughters every morning by telling them how beautiful they are - for never expecting me to take out the trash or put gas in my car or be anything other than just me - for teaching our boys that chivalry is what every man should aspire to posses - for the many breakfasts in bed and back rubs at night - for being my protector when the day turned against me - for being the one and only person in this world that loved every single part of me, even the ugly ones - for cherishing our family and being ever present in the so many activities that we did - for never complaining when you were sick or down - for always seeing the best in each person that you met - for the million times you searched a weeks worth of garbage to find a homework assignment or lost toy - for your patience and kindness when I deserved none - for not only listening to my great project ideas, but actually doing all the work to complete them - for being my friend when I couldn't be one to myself - for your big smile and contagious laughter that would warm up any heart - and of course, thank you for being a handsome, rugged dude with great hair.
I have never known anyone who loved people more freely and authentically than you. You accepted others for who they were, instantly and without hesitation - you simply enjoyed who God created them to be. You taught me and the kids more about unconditional love and selflessness than you can ever know and we will continue on in your example of pure, genuine love for others. The kids and I are your legacy.
You have given me a lifetime of love. Since the moment we met, I never once - not one time - had a doubt of your love for me. You treasured me and I felt that adoration everyday of my life because of the way you treated me. That kind of love is so rare and I will be forever thankful that I was chosen to be your wife. Thank you for being the greatest gift in my life. It is an honor to love you.
Why our journey turned down this unexpected road, I don't exactly know. But what I have learned is that it is not ours to know - that privilege belongs to God - it is simply ours to love. We are all broken people living in a broken world which is why we MUST love. And when we choose to love someone, we should choose to love all of them. And I do love all of you, Don McConnell, and I would have never missed our love affair.
You were the most beautiful soul that I have ever known and your light will continue on in this world. Your purpose here, now, is done as God has allowed you to come home. But ours is still in motion. We will take the love you gave and carry it forward into the lives of others - for God promises us in Romans 8:28 that:
...he causes everything to work together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.
And the good is here - it is in you - and it is us.
I love you.