A woman who died more than two years ago has given her family an incredible posthumous Christmas gift.
Brenda Schmitz, wife and mother of four, passed away in September 2011 after a battle with ovarian cancer. She was 46.
A month before she died, Schmitz wrote a letter addressed to a Des Moines, Iowa, radio station and instructed a friend to wait to mail it until her husband, David, had fallen in love again.
The station, Star 102.5, invited David, who recently got engaged, into the studio last week to share the letter with him.
“When you are in receipt of this letter, I will have already lost my battle to ovarian cancer,” Brenda wrote in the letter. “I am writing this letter to be sent to you by a dear friend who has instructions to do so when it was the time. I had to type this because I can hardly type anymore because of my shakiness. I told her once my loving husband David had moved on in his life and had met 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," she continued, "I told David my wishes after I was gone that I believed he'd follow 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 from here on out for my family and ultimately finding a caring and compassionate woman in time to help raise the boys. She must be quite a lady."
Every year, the radio station solicits Christmas wish letters from listeners, picks the best and, with the help of sponsors, grants them.
Brenda's first wish for "David's new lifelong partner" was "a day, or better yet, a week of pampering, in all aspects of her life. ... She deserves it."
"Thank you," she added. "I love you, whoever you are."
Brenda also asked for a "magical trip" for the family of 8, and a "night out full of drinks, food and fun" for her cancer doctors at Mercy Medical Hospital.
Local businesses chipped in to help the station grant all of Brenda's wishes, including the trip — a four-day vacation in Disney World.
"In more than 20 years of granting Christmas wishes, we’ve never received a wish quite like the one we received from Brenda Schmitz," the station wrote on its website.
“There wasn’t a dry eye in the room when we got [the letter]," station manager Scott Allen told the Des Moines Register.
“It’s not surprising," David said of his wife's posthumous surprise. "The last year and a half she’s shown so many signs that she’s [here]."