HELLO my name is Brenda Schmitz and when you are in receipt of this letter I will already have lost my battle to ovarian cancer.”
With these words Brenda, who had died of cancer two years, earlier gave her husband and children and one other special woman, one of the most inspirational and beautiful Christmas gifts of all time.
According to the Des Moines Register, Brenda had always been touched by the Christmas Wish program run by local Des Moines radio station KSTZ Star 102.5 each year.
Then about two weeks ago station brand manager Scott Allen received a letter in the mail.
“We’ve been doing the Christmas Wish program for 20-plus years. We’ve never received a wish like this, ever,” he told the Register.
The letter was from Brenda, written two years earlier, a month before she died of ovarian cancer, leaving behind her husband David and four young sons.
Brenda Schmitz Source: Supplied
The letter was posted by an anonymous friend of Brenda. The woman said Brenda had gifted her the letter but told her not to post it until David had fallen in love again.
The station asked David to come into the studio and then read him Brenda’s amazing note.
It read: “I am writing this letter to have sent to you by a dear friend who has instructions to do so when it was the time.
“I told her once my loving husband David had moved on in his life and had found someone to share his life with again to mail this letter to all of you at the station.
“As I was thinking about my last months on earth I told David my wishes after I was gone that I believe he followed through with the attitude and courage I know he possesses.
“What a great husband and father he is. I know all of this is extremely hard on him. He is the one making the best decisions for my family and ultimately finding a caring, compassionate loving woman in time to help raise the boys. She must be quite a lady (I wish I could have met her) to take on the task of raising a large extended family with unwavering love and devotion and a huge heart.
“We have four boys Carter, Josh, Justin and my little Max. Max is the youngest at two years old.
“I was diagnosed right after his first birthday. No child as young as Max should have to lose his mother and it brings tears to my eyes now thinking of it. God I will miss seeing him and the boys grow up to be fine men. I have relayed to David to try and not let him forget me. He is such a bright, intelligent and beautiful boy.
“My reason for writing this is I have a wish for David and the boys and the woman and her family if she has kids also. I want them to know I love them very much and hope they always feel safe in a world of pain.
“I was hoping that one small act you all could do for me could change their lives for ever and they know I am with them always.”
David Schmitz listens as his wife’s letter is read on air. Picture: Screenshot YouTube Source: Supplied
As the radio hosts shed tears of their own, a weeping David showed he was incredibly moved by Brenda’s letter – but not surprised.
He said she had left many signs she was with them in spirit since her death, including a giant rainbow that appeared the morning she died after many weeks with no rain. Brenda’s favourite song that she sang often with little Max was Over the Rainbow.
Brenda’s first wish was for a day or a weekend of pampering for her husband’s new love, Jane.
“She deserves it,” Brenda wrote. “Being a stepmother to all those boys, and especially giving little Max a mother’s love that only she can give. Make her smile and know her efforts are truly appreciated from me.”
She added: “Thank you. I love you, whoever you are.”
Jane has two children of her own and also received a letter from Brenda that was sent on to her privately by the radio station.
David Schmitz and his new love Jane Source: Supplied
Brenda’s next wish was for her family.
“For the family: a magical trip,” she wrote. “Somewhere where they all can enjoy their company and companionship as a family and create those memories that will be with them forever.”
Her final wish was for something special for the nurses and doctors in her cancer unit at Mercy Medical Center: “A night out full of drinks, food and fun for all they do every day for the cancer patients they encounter.”
All three of Brenda’s wishes were granted by the station with help from sponsors, with the family of eight flying to Disney World with all expenses paid.
“There wasn’t a dry eye in the room when we got” the letter, Allen told the Des Moines Register. “It really inspired us to do something for her.”