This is a continuation of a story that began in 1997. It was the fall of that year that I was introduced to Jaime Hunt. We instantly became friends – best friends. We talked every night on the phone, starting at 8 PM and hanging up only when one of our parents realized we were still on the phone (or the cordless phone finally lost its charge!). Jaime pursued me for the longest time. She was not ashamed to tell me she didn’t want to be just my friend. The wires in my brain finally connected when we were in high school and we began dating. After a short break-up senior year, we found ourselves back on the phone our freshman year of college. And then, I was the one who told Jaime I didn’t want to continue this back and forth on the phone. I let her know exactly where I stood with one of the most powerful kisses – folks it defrosted a frozen pizza!
We were engaged in 2003 and married in May of 2005. The excitement continued as we took the risk and moved to Florida. Jaime pursued her dream of performing at Disney while I continued teaching and working towards the completion of post-graduate work. Then, the most beautiful blessing entered our world. Felicity was born in September of 2009 and her life brought abundant joy into our lives. It changed who we were and our plans for the future.
But 2012 would be the year that would change the road we were traveling. Before Memorial Day, Jaime had two strokes and scans showed that there was a tumor. A successful surgery removed the tumor and Jaime was literally dancing through recovery. The biopsy showed the tumor was cancer and reality sunk in quickly. The return of the tumor only four weeks later was just one more reminder that our lives would never be the same again. The short version of my wife’s journey of cancer is that through her pain, she found great strength in her faith and through the acts of love and kindness from our community. Jaime’s journey here ended on December 6th, 2012.
I never planned on being a widower in my 30s with a 3 year old girl to raise. Who would? Like my wife, I have found great strength in my faith in God and through the prayer and support of family and friends. This is not the part in the story of “Life” I wanted to play. This is not the road I wanted to travel – particularly alone. However, I accept that there is something to be learned from the entirety of my loss. This truly is just a bend in the road and the journey continues until I am with my Jaime again.