Jill Layton
Updated Apr 17, 2016 @ 9:20 pm
Credit: Jill Layton/Brooke Mayo Photographers

My wife and I just celebrated our first wedding anniversary (Hooray! We did it!). We decided not to give each other gifts, but instead chose take a trip somewhere fantastic (which we have yet to take, because, you know… life). But, of course, we had to give each other the traditional one-year anniversary gift of paper, just to avoid bad luck or imminent death or whatever happens when superstitions come true.

I assumed she’d write me a sweet letter about how much she loves me, because that’s what I did for her. And she does, in fact, love me… so it would have made sense. She did write a letter, but it wasn’t just for me. She wrote a letter to my mom who died two years before we met each other, and it’s the most beautiful piece of writing I’ve ever received.

My wife’s letter quickly made me realize that I’ve done a pretty good job at including my mom in my life even though she’s no longer here.

When someone dies, we have two options: We can do our best to avoid grieving or continuing to think about that person, because yeah, feeling those feelings sucks. Or we can carry on that person’s memory by doing just that… carrying on memories. By talking about them, laughing about things they’ve done or said, and remembering everything we can. Because memories are all we have now. And chances are, that person would hate to not be remembered.

I introduced my wife to my mom, one of the most important people ever to grace my life, by simply talking about her. And it worked. My wife loves her, and I’m positive my mom would have loved her right back.

Here’s the letter: