Today is the anniversary of Sara and Gary L’Eon. We reverently celebrate what would have been their 52nd year of marriage.

Sadly, my mother-in-law left this world on December 13, 2017.

About a week ago I was writing in my journal, and I believe today is a good day to share a portion of those thoughts to honor their marriage.

A letter to my husband,

In reminiscing over the years we’ve spent married together, I remember times of crisis and times of victory. I remember times when things felt “normal” and we longed for a future of growing old together.

There was even a time when I would create amazing meals for everyone, and we would sit together at the dinner table almost every night. I took great pride in caring for those around me.

And those days are long gone! Today our meals consist of the simplest, and quite honestly, repetitive recipes eaten at our kitchen island on paper plates.

You are often exhausted by evening because you carry the load of mother and father while working and caring for our family of 7. Yet through your exhaustion, you sees this as a way to serve and express your love.

You eagerly take the lead in caring for me whether it’s taking down or setting up IV infusions and tube feedings. You are always by my side.

Some time ago I was grieving over the life “we could have had” if I wasn’t sick. I was struggling with the fact that our future will not be one of vacationing around the country or visiting sites around the world.

At the same time, I was struggling with guilt because I assumed that you felt the same loss as I. When we discussed the issue, You did not have the disappointment and grief that I did.

I found that troubling. Surely, you must feel sad that our life together has not turned out as we expected, I thought.

What about our beach vacations, Alaskan cruises, and spontaneous trips to see snow that we dreamed about? I imagined a hidden resentment inside of you that ultimately did not exist.

Thankfully, you are a man who is satisfied with the sovereignty of God’s will over our lives. You know what it is to be content.

In thinking about your character, my thoughts are drawn to your father, Gary. I know your love for me was cultivated by observing how your own father loved and cared for your mom.

For many years Your father spent every day caring for your mom, Sara. From speaking with him, I know he does not regret a single moment of his time spent with her.

Admittedly, his only regret is not having the opportunity to care for her longer.

I never heard your father complain about missing family events or holidays because he needed to care for your mom. He loved her in a way we rarely see today. He loved her in the same way that you love me.

Certainly, we have had our struggles. We have been in some deep, dark valleys together. But we went through them together and came out of them together.

I appreciate you more now than ever before because of what we’ve been through.

And I owe a great amount of appreciation to your parents for setting such an example of love, commitment, and devotion to each other.

With utmost respect and love,

Your wife

Lovingly written in memory of Sara.