MY LETTER TO MARY

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Dear Mary,

There are so many feelings I have. Many are difficult to put into words. Some fleeting and others are constant.

I can’t imagine what my life would have been like had I not known you, loved you, spent the last 29 years with you.

I was speaking to one of our dearest friends the other day and when he asked how I was feeling after your death, I said, "many say that after losing a mate they feel like half of them is missing. Well, I feel like the very core of me has been ripped out!" The very center of me, what makes me, me, is gone! I have been a husband, provider and partner for so long, I don’t really know how to just be Tom.

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I wish you could see our friends in action! You’d be amazed and overwhelmed by their deep love, respect and admiration they have for you!

 

They have swooped in and have taken such good care of me. I know that you always worried about how I would be in the event of your death. Well Jehovah has enveloped me in love! He has moved our friends from far and near to show their love for you and me.

 

Yes! They have shown their love for you! I know you are too humble to accept or believe anything said about you that is complimentary. But there is overwhelming evidence that you are loved!

 

It has made me so proud of you and so blessed to call you my wife after reading so many beautiful expressions from those whose lives you personally affected.

 

I want to share some of these beautiful expressions:

 

"Mary truly lived every day of her life… To bring honor to Jehovah. She gave us all a wonderful example of how to live up to our dedication in these last days." – RB

 

"Mary had such a strong faith in Jehovah‘s promises. She expressed that faith in a card she sent me with encouragement." – JL

 

"Seeing Mary’s courage (during her illness), knowing Jehovah was with her every step of the way, letting his principles guide her, it is fully evident that faith in Jehovah has been an anchor 'firm and Strong'." – C&E

 

"Mary was a treasure of godly qualities. Happy, positive, caring, unselfish and deeply devoted to Jehovah." – N&W

 

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I can hear you right now saying, “Tom! You are embarrassing me. Stop it!” Well you just have to accept it. You are loved!

 

(Here are some more)

 

"Mary was a kind and loving person. There was a genuine kindness in her. She will be missed." – RJ

 

"Often we say to one another how much we miss your great laugh and beautiful spirit." – L&D

 

"You are both faithful examples for our family as to how to serve Jehovah through difficult times." –W&D

 

"Even with her health limitations, her lively, both passionate and compassionate, authentic personality was evident… Her firm reliance on Jehovah, along with her honesty and loyalty made a lasting impression on me." – AG

 

"Our mental pictures of the two of you together… Will always bring joy to us. But more important is the pictures Jehovah has of Mary. No doubt he is smiling at these." – A&N

 

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Mary, you must realize that I treasure all these expressions from our precious spiritual family!

 

It fills my heart with such pride. Remember how I would say to you, “You may be shorter than me, but I married up“?

 

These expressions prove how right I was. I consider it the second greatest privilege in my life. The first is having Jehovah as my heavenly father, but coming in very close to that was having your love and loving you!

 

Please let the friend speak a little more.

 

"We enjoyed seeing Mary one day this summer. I treasure the warm hug she gave my mom and I." – SW

 

"Mary was a beautiful person, full of much love and life. You have so much to be grateful for in having spent many precious and beautiful years together." – BG

 

"Mary was a wonderful sister that we will miss. She’s one of my favorite friends." – B&L

 

"How Jehovah misses his loyal friend… Misses her acts of love and faithfulness, her sacrifices of praise, her zeal for the ministry, her artistic talents, her sense of humor, her beauty inside and out…" – AB

"She was such a positive person with a big smile on her face." – J&D

"Mary was such a great person and will always be thought of with great love and respect." – AK

 

"Mary was such a positive force in so many lives." – BK

 

"I know Mary and you are loved by our whole circuit!" – PS

 

"We’ve known Mary since she was a little girl. She grew up to be a lovely person. Then she found you and you made a good team." – D&C

"She always really listened to others and thought about what they were saying. And what they weren’t saying at times. Among many other things, that made her so special to me. I think that’s why when she spoke or gave advice to me I took it to heart more than with others. I cared what she thought…because I knew she really cared and loved others deeply…wanted the best for everyone without exception…and would then work to help them however possible. That face of genuine interest spoke to me more than her words at times. She had the most sincere body language. That earned my trust before I really even got to know her. Then myriad small details she went out of her way to do for me and others meant so much. Not everyone is like that. Some are grand gestures people…nothing wrong there, need those people too—but she not only observed small details others did and commended them, but did small things just for you to make you feel special. She reflected Jehovah’s love in a way that spoke to my heart at times when I most needed it. I only wish I were better able to communicate that to her while she was here. When we see each other again I hope Jehovah helps me to do so in a way that is perfect for her heart. ❤️❤️❤️ She was so special." – MC

 

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Mary, this next one is from your brother Ed. I know that when you come back to us he will tell you in person.
 

“You were a sister to us but you were also a sister to many who grew up with you.

 

You always put the desires and wants of others ahead of your own. This was evident even at an early age. You always made an effort to please others. Attentive to their needs. A complete stranger, when upon first meeting you, felt at ease and welcomed within just a short while.

 

Even during this past year, with your health failing, you always wanted to know how others were doing. Never wanting the attention on what you were going through.

 

You were a person who, although weak physically, made others stronger by your words of encouragement and faithful example.

 

You never shied away from hard work. But rather embraced it, especially in Jehovah‘s service.

 

As an older sister, you set the perfect example for me in service to Jehovah. Always putting Jehovah first in your life. It was clearly evident you love Jehovah with your whole heart.

 

You treated my girls as if they were your own, showing them love that can’t even be put into words.“ – Ed

 

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Mary, how do I put the past 29 years into just a few pages? It’s just not possible. However, it’s amazing how our dear friends expressions mirror my own feelings. And so by sharing their words I find it easier to tell you how I feel.

 

"When you were young and so in love, it was hard to imagine how deep and true your relationship would become. The two of you were truly one flesh. What a beautiful testimony you both gave to the gift of marriage and for that you should be proud… We will always remember Mary for her outstanding thoughtfulness, generosity and love for life. Mary did things with purpose." – C&B

 

"Mary was a very good friend and such a heartwarming, caring person. She is an encouragement still because her friendship was so profound and her faith in Jehovah was evident to all." – KK

 

"I loved Mary so much. She was strong-willed, feisty, humble, caring, loving, hospitable, beautiful inside and out, always interested in others and she loved Jehovah wholeheartedly. Even going through the rough times of this last year or so, she never wanted the focus to be on her. She was always asking how others were doing." – DK

 

"Mary was kind, genuine and always ready with an encouraging word and looking for ways to help others. What a beautiful reputation." – B&S

 

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My dearest Mary,

 

When I said, “I do!“ 29 years ago, I meant forever! Yes, it’s true that death brings our marriage to an end. This, of course, doesn’t mean that my future hopes and plans do not include you!

 

You and I have always trusted in our God Jehovah. Through some very difficult times and all the in between‘s, he has provided abundant evidence of his love and support! And so we did not fear this last trial. Was it easy? No!

 

One thing is for sure. We knew that if we stay loyal to Jehovah he will be loyal too.

 

His loyal love is forever. Therefore I know his promise to bring you back to life again, here on a cleansed earth, as your reward for faithfulness to him, is absolutely sure!

 

What a reunion that will be! Loving you forever! Growing young again and seeing you healthy and in your prime. It brings a smile to my face and eases my grief when I think of it.

 

I can only imagine the energy and vitality you’ll have when you are perfect. I won’t be able to keep up with you.

 

Mary, besides Jehovah and Jesus, you were the best thing in my life! You helped me become a more thoughtful, generous person. You taught me the value of giving, humility and family. How you loved family!

 

I know your early training at home taught you to be selfless. But as you put on the Christlike new personality, you developed even more beautiful traits.

 

What we had (have) is not just a result of time. We worked hard to apply what the Bible says with the promise that it is always for our benefit. How amazing it is that two very imperfect people can make such a rock solid relationship! It is only possible with Jehovah's spirit and wise advice.

 

I still marvel at the depth of your love for Jehovah and his word the Bible! I am so privileged to have had you as my wife. You were a deeply spiritual and dedicated servant of Jehovah God.

 

I want to keep writing to you and I know I will. But for now I bring this letter to a close. It has helped me to cope with my grief.

 

An interesting thought was recently shared with me.

 

“People tend to believe that grief shrinks over time. What really happens is that we grow around our grief.“

 

I am sure this is true to some degree. Jehovah is greater than our hearts and he knows how to give us true comfort and a real hope!

 

Hope swells in our heart, enlarges it! Making our grief seem smaller. Not all at once, but little by little.

 

One last quote from a dear friend.

 

“The grave is a terrible reminder of the brevity of life… But the resurrection is a wonderful reminder of the brevity of death.“

 

How I long for the day when Jesus calls your name and you answer him!

 

To you, my most precious Mary,

All my love forever!