Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Late Wife’s Christmas Wish For Her Husband

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.


  • David Schmitz, a husband whose late wife left him with a Christmas gift.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.

Experts share a range of perspectives on how to combat the Islamic State militant group, and the role the U.S. should play.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

November 26 8 Comments

Arlo Guthrie Celebrates 50 Years Of ‘Alice’s Restaurant’

Listening to the 18-minute musical monologue has been a Thanksgiving tradition among folk music fans for decades.

November 26 Comment

One Refugee’s Story Of Coming To America

Paul Okot vividly remembers landing at JFK airport in New York at 7 years old, after fleeing violence in southern Sudan.

November 25 3 Comments

Rapper Le1f Finds Struggle And Moral Diversity In American Music

We've been asking musicians what they think of when they think "American music." Today we hear from Khalif Diouf, aka Le1f.

November 24 7 Comments

Ferguson: One Year Later

City council member Wesley Bell looks back on the past year since protests and violence swept the Missouri city.