NPR's Jason Beaubien just returned from Sierra Leone, which along with Guinea and Liberia is suffering from the worst ever Ebola outbreak.
David Schmitz was more than surprised when a local Des Moines, Iowa, radio show invited him to their studios. The program was in the habit of giving surprise Christmas gifts, but this was particularly special.
Schmitz’s wife, Brenda, had died two years earlier at age 46 of ovarian cancer. She had instructed a friend to give a letter to the radio station once David fell in love again.
The letter asks for three wishes for David’s new love, their family and the team of doctors and nurses who treated Brenda during her illness.
“I’m extremely blessed to have walked a little bit of the path of life with her,” Schmitz told Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti. “She was such a loyal friend. If you were her friend, you knew it.”
Schmitz is surprised that his family’s story has even reached internationally, but he thinks it is an appropriate time.
“In her letter, the one thing that sticks out is she wanted the kids to feel good … and out there in the news, all you hear is about the bad stuff,” Schmitz said. “This is one of those feel-good stories people can hear and identify with, that miss their loved ones at Christmas. It’s an amazing and emotional gift she gave our family. Hopefully around the world, everybody kind of hugs their spouses, their families a little tighter at Christmas.