This is a photo of Brenda Schmitz. I don't know about you, but I can see her spirit in her smile. The way her eyes are illuminated. The way her hand is holding her other hand. I see beauty beyond the physical. Brenda is a mother of four boys. She is a wife. She was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer in January of 2011. She died in September of that same year.
During her battle, she wrote a letter to her husband David and the future love in her husband's life. She sent it to her friend who was told to give it to Des Moines, Iowa, radio station “Star” 102.5 who grants wishes during the holidays when he met a woman he loved. The station granted her wish and gave her widow David the most emotional Christmas gift he and his girlfriend and their kids could ever receive.
I'm warning you. I was just seconds into this video when the lump in my throat became too unbearable and I let out one of those gasps as my eyes filled with tears. Inside of us, inside every single one of us, there is a beauty, a kindness beyond kind, a spirit that lasts long after we are gone from this Earth. When we choose to let that beauty out, it can touch people's lives in ways that are like magic. That is what Brenda did. Not only in life, but in death.
When David is on the radio show, speaking of her beloved late wife Brenda, those emotions he was experiencing are so raw, so hard to watch. You feel his pain. You feel his gratitude to the woman he loved, and loves, and the mother of his sons.
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The radio station grants a few wishes each Christmas, and this year Brenda's wish was granted two years after she sent it in because David had found love again. They brought David in and surprised him by telling him they had a letter from Brenda. The letter began:
When you are in receipt of this letter, I will have already lost my battle to ovarian cancer. I told [my friend] once my loving husband David had moved on in his life and had met someone to share his life with again, to mail this letter to all of you at the station.
David met Jane in October of 2012. Brenda requests that David give her a day of pampering. "She deserves it, being a stepmother to all those boys. Make her smile and know her efforts are truly appreciated from me." She also asked David to put together a "magical" trip for the family, and a night out for the cancer doctors who treated her at Mercy Medical Hospital.
David says he's seen so many signs that Brenda is still there -- her spirit is so alive. He saw a double rainbow on the morning that she passed -- Somewhere Over The Rainbow was her and her son’s favorite song.
Brenda also wrote a letter to be given to Jane, who has two kids of her own. All her wishes were granted thanks to the station and local sponsors. Jane and her two kids, David and his four, all went to Disney World.
There is such a thing as miracles; there should be belief in the power of love. It's what we do. How we treat others. Our kindness and care. Our love and our acceptance. How we open our hearts and our minds. That is the Christmas spirit.
What do you think of Brenda's incredible letters?