A Letter to My Husband Who Left Us Way Too Young – You’d Be Proud

family Apr 16, 2020

Dear Ron:

34 years ago this May we lost you. Our boys were 21 months and four and a half years old. I was a baby myself at 24 years old. As I’m writing this letter I have Kenny Chesney’s lyrics in my head “It ain’t fair you died too young like a story that had just begun but death tore the pages all away….”

The music video rings true as well – your car was unrecognizable from the crash just like the one in the video.

I take a moment every morning on this day of the year and listen to this song in its entirety.   

And I have a cry.

You and our boys were my entire world. That day, our boys became my entire world. I promised you that I would continue being the best mom I could to them. Nothing made me happier, after all, than being their mom.

I also promised you that they would always know who their daddy was. Your family never stopped being a part of my family. And they never will.

Early On

What a blur. And so surreal. Yours was the first funeral I’d ever been to. There was lots of laughter there along with the tears but you wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. And when the hubbub died down, I went about the day to day living of raising our boys. Honestly, I think they saved my life. I had a reason that I had to get up and live each day.

I don’t know how you did it at such a young age or why you thought to, but you left us well cared for financially. I had been staying at home with our boys and I was able to continue to do so – even as a young widow. There are no words to describe how that made the worst situation ever just a little easier for me and the boys.

There’s random things that I think about when I remember those early days. How the pool board gave me and the boys a free membership that summer and we were able to get outside and go to the pool every day. How not only my friends, but yours, continued to come over so that they could be apart of the boys’ lives.

All of the cards and notes and letters……I read and re-read them. Your brother, that first Father’s Day, gave me a father’s day card, Ron. Because I was dad and mom now. I have never forgotten that. The recognition of that.

34 Years Later

It’s strange but I feel like you know all of this. I don’t know about heaven or what really happens to us after we die, but somehow I feel like you’ve been there watching over us. There’s been a few times where I have “felt” you there unexpectedly. And it’s been calming when it’s happened.

I’ve made some mistakes along the way. I have a few regrets but not many. I think that you’d be proud of your family, Ron. You’ve got two great sons, two wonderful daughters in law, and five of the cutest grandchildren you’ve ever laid eyes on. I would venture to say had you lived longer, our family would be quite a bit larger. But we did good, you and I. Each time a new grandbaby was born, I went to your graveside and sat there with you for a bit and reflected on our blessings.

And your family is still my family. Your brother – don’t ask me what went wrong there. He was a disappointment. But your sister and I are still very close and we will be forever. She comes here for Thanksgiving dinner each year. Your dad came to every one of the boys sports events for as long as he could. Our boys know their Smith roots.

I’m in a happy place now. Love my husband, love my job, enjoying this blog, and very involved with our grandchildren. And, I guess I want to say thank you. Thank you for your part in getting me here where I am today. I wouldn’t be here at all if it weren’t for you – on every single level. I’m starting to cry as I type this. But, I think you know that.

Michelle Steinke-Baumgard in her blog One Fit Widow stated it perfectly…..Losing you and becoming a widow has never defined who I am but has significantly shaped who I’ve become. When I’m anxious or think I can’t do something, I go back to those early years and remember all of the things I was able to get through. And I know that I can do anything.

I kept my promises and I loved every second of it. I did make some mistakes along the way, but all in all? As I reflect on everything? I know you’d be proud of us.


Love always,