It’s challenging to be married to a soldier. There is a great deal of uncertainty, a great deal of alone, and, of course, a great deal of terror. Fear that your partner won’t return from work when they leave each day.
There are no “last moments” or proper farewells when a soldier passes away overseas; you simply learn of their passing one day. This is what happened to this soldier’s wife. Emma Weaver received news that no wife of a soldier ever wants to receive — her husband, U.S Army 1st Lt. Todd Weaver, had been killed by an IED during his second tour of Afghanistan in 2010.
Even though this story is a few years old, the sentiment and significance behind the note he left behind will never get old. It deserves to be revisited and reshared.
Emma was crushed by her husband’s passing, but she was also left with a 9-month-old daughter named Kylie. Sadly, Emma’s daughter will never know the father who loved her so dearly, and she was in deep mourning at the loss of her husband. She thought she’d heard her husband’s last words. That is until she opened up his laptop to find letters to both her and their baby girl.
Emma received her husband’s laptop, which he had used during his deployment, along with her husband’s remains as the United States Army transported Todd’s body back to the country so that he could be laid to rest by his wife and family.
A memorial service was held for the distinguished officer’s friends and family after his body was carried home, and in lieu of flowers, they were urged to donate to the Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund.
Now, Todd’s wife Emma was searching through some of his belongings, including the laptop, two days after the funeral. There were two files on the desktop right there. The first read “Dear Emma,” while the second said “Dear Kiley.” Emma breathed deeply as she opened the files, her heart racing a little quicker. She started with the letter that was written to her.
The stark awareness that Emma would never get to say goodbye must have been so painful for the young widow when she received the heartbreaking news that her devoted husband and the father of her child had died in an explosion in Afghanistan. However, Todd had been leaving something on his computer all along for his wife and their young daughter in the event of his death.
What Emma found in the first folder was a letter that her husband wrote when he left for Afghanistan. He wrote her a letter in which he professed his love for her. In case he didn’t return home, he wanted to leave her with some parting words and something to get her through the dark days.
Well if you are reading this, I guess I did not make it home and therefore, I was not able to remind you again of how much I love you.
I love you so much baby and I will always love you. Although I may not be here right now, take comfort in the fact that I am watching over you right now.
I am not gone and I will always be with you in spirit. I know this time must be hard for you but I also know how strong you are.
Never forget that God knew what’s best for us before we were even born. Take comfort in that. This happened for a reason. Although you may not believe it now, you will one day.
I want you to know how important you are to me. I could not ask for a more caring, beautiful, and loving wife. The memories we have shared over the last few years have been the best of my life. Although it may seem like my life was cut short, I lived a life that most can only dream of. I married the perfect woman. I have a beautiful daughter that amazed me every day.
I even had two great dogs – at least most of the time. I couldn’t ask for anything more. If you feel sad, just think back to the memories we shared. Look at our daughter and how beautiful she is.
Be strong for her. Remind her about her Daddy and tell her that I loved her more than anything else in the world. Her birth was the best day of my life and she was the best thing that ever happened to me. Her smile and laughter represent all that is good and beautiful in this world.
Tell her that Daddy is in heaven now and will watch over her and protect her every minute of every day. I love you Emma. But never be afraid to do what you need to do to be happy. It is so important that you continue to find happiness in your life. Although you may think that this is impossible right now, have faith.
Much better times are coming. You and Kiley have a wonderful life ahead of you and I am so happy to have shared some of it with you.
I love you.”
The second letter was one he wrote to their baby girl. This letter will be special for Kiley, as he knew that if he died while on deployment, she, unfortunately, won’t remember her father.
“Dear Kiley, My Sweetie:
Although you may not remember me, I want you to know how very much your Daddy loves you.
I left for Afghanistan when you were 9 months old.
Leaving you was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
You are so very special to me sweetie — you are truly a gift from God.
The best day of my life was the day you were born.
Every time I saw you smile my heart would just melt.
You were my sweetie — my life was not complete until you were born.
I am so sorry I will not be able to see you grow up.
But remember, your Daddy is not gone. I am in heaven now smiling down on you every day.
You are so very lucky to have such a wonderful Mom to take care of you.
Make sure you are good for her and help her out whenever you can.
Always remember to say your prayers at night and be thankful for all your many blessings.
Never forget how important and special you are to so many people.
We love you so very much. When you get older and start school, do your best and try to learn as much as you can about the world you live in.
Always be nice and caring to others and you will discover that the world will be nice to you.
But when things aren’t going your way, never forget that God knows what is best for you and everything will work out in the end.
You have such a bright and beautiful future ahead of you.
Have fun. Enjoy it. And remember, your Daddy will always be proud of you and will always love you.
You are and will always be my sweetie.
With very much love,
Before Todd passed away, Emma started a blog called A Day In The Life. On her blog, she discussed his letters and what they meant to her. She claimed that despite the phrases being challenging to read, they gave her serenity.
Adding that Todd’s words have given her “Courage to tackle each day with the same spirit he would have.” Emma wrote, “I couldn’t imagine being at war and seeing what he did every day and then having the courage to write goodbye letters to the ones you love. He was so strong.”
She had the inscriptions overlaid on images because she wanted to always remember his inspiring remarks. According to the Daily Mail, her letter is exhibited next to a photo of the couple’s wedding, while young Kiley’s is posted next to a picture of her and her father reading to her when she was around a week old.
“Although they are private letters I have thought long and hard about how significant they are and the importance of sharing the depth of wisdom Todd had for being 26 years old at the time of his death,” Emma explained, as both letters have been proudly displayed on the wall of Emma’s home.
Emma claims that the strength she has today is all because of her husband and his letters. She claims that the current state of her life is harder than she could have ever imagined, but she is aware that she cannot change it.
Even though young Kiley might not remember her father, she intends to make sure that she is fully remembered him. The fact that she will always have him in her heart is most important.
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