Mom Grants Family a Christmas Wish–Two Years After Her Death
byKaitlin StanfordDec 25, 2013
Two years ago, wife and mother Brenda Schmitz tragically lost her battle with ovarian cancer. She was only 46.
Leaving behind a husband, David, and four sons, she tried to prepare them as best she could for life without her. She told her husband to make sure their little two-year-old, Max, would never forget her; and to not be afraid to find love again himself. How would he know if a woman was right to bring into their lives? "I'll be there with you," Brenda told him, reassuringly.
Now, the "Ken & Colleen" morning show has been granting Christmas wishes each year for the last two decades–and witnessed their share of holiday tear-jerkers in the process. But this one was beyond anything they'd ever expected.
At the start of the show, host "Big Ken" asked David to talk about his wife Brenda. Fighting back tears, the father of four spoke of his wife's lovely spirit, of their big, blended family, and of Brenda's tragic diagnosis, which took her quickly and far too soon. But he also spoke of how determined she was to make sure her family could find happiness and peace after her passing.
That's when Big Ken told David that the station had recently received a letter from Brenda–sent by one of Brenda's close friends–that contained a Christmas Wish for her family. It was written two years ago, before her death, and had to be typed up rather than written, because by then the cancer had made her body weak and shaky. But her words were clear, and Brenda had very specific instructions for how she wanted her family's Christmas wish to be granted...
“I have a wish for David and the boys and the woman and her family if she has kids also,” Brenda wrote in the letter, which was read aloud by co-host Colleen Kelly. “I want them to know I love them very much and they always feel safe in a world of pain."
Brenda had asked that the letter be sent only after David had found someone new to share his life with, and to that woman she wrote: “Thank you. I love you, whoever you are."
Then Brenda laid out her wishes, which included that her son's new stepmom be pampered for a day, and that her family be given a "magical trip" where they could create "memories that will be with them forever." Her final wish? That the doctors and nurses who worked so hard to care for her be granted a night out with drinks and food "for all they do".
The nearly 15-minute clip is impossible to gear through without bawling your eyes out, but it's truly touching in every sense of the word. Watch it through, and grab your box of tissues; you're going to need it.