Amy Krouse Rosenthal is a best-selling author – and has been happily married to her husband, Jason, for the past 26 years. However, in 2015, she walked into an emergency room with an “unusual pain” in her right-hand side, and asked hospital staff to check her over.
After a few hours of tests, doctors sat her down and informed her that the “no-biggie appendicitis” she had suspected was, in fact, ovarian cancer – and the condition was terminal.
Now, as she nears the end of her life, the writer has penned an emotional tribute, titled “You May Want to Marry My Husband,” in the latest issue of the New York Times’ Modern Love column.
In it, she takes readers through her life-altering diagnosis – admitting she got the news just days before she and Jason were to celebrate their “empty nest” (the youngest of their three grown-up children had just left home) with a trip to South Africa.
Rosenthal writes: “I’m facing a deadline, in this case, a pressing one. I need to say this (and say it right) while I a) have your attention, and b) a pulse.”
She goes on to explain that she hopes this essay will serve as an “online dating profile” for her husband, as she wants nothing more than to find a companion for him to spend his days with when she is gone.
“I have been married to the most extraordinary man for 26 years. I was planning on at least another 26 together,” explains Rosenthal, before going on to reveal that Jason is an easy man to fall in love with.
A lawyer based out of Chicago, Rosenthal met her husband in 1989 on a blind date – and instantly knew that he was The One.
Admitting that he’s a “sharp dresser” (with a “flair for fabulous socks”), she adds that her husband is a great dancer, uncannily handy, an “absolutely wonderful father”, and a great cook.
“After a long day, there is no sweeter joy than seeing him walk in the door, plop a grocery bag down on the counter, and woo me with olives and some yummy cheese he has procured before he gets to work on the evening’s meal,” she writes.
And, on Sunday mornings, he likes to surprise Amy by using kitchen items – like bananas, spoons, or mugs – to make a smiley face next to the coffee pot.
Rosenthal finishes by writing: “I am wrapping this up on Valentine's Day, and the most genuine, non-vase-oriented gift I can hope for is that the right person reads this, finds Jason, and another love story begins.
“I’ll leave this intentional empty space below as a way of giving you two the fresh start you deserve.”
And, just in case there is any doubt about the sincerity of Rosenthal’s sentiment, she ends with, “With all my love, Amy.”
The emotional essay has gone viral online since it was published on Friday, with many social media users calling it “heartbreakingly beautiful”.
“The bar is now so impossibly high, though. Beautifully graceful & utterly heartbreaking,” wrote one.
And one 72-year-old woman, who met the love of her life only six years ago, wrote: “We both know our time together is limited and share an appreciation that we have experienced this kind of love, even this late in life.
“You have given all of us a glimpse of what we can and could be when love is our life’s compass.”
You can read her entire essay here.