I could go on for hours about Jonathan. I'm standing in front of all of you who knew and loved him. Some of you have known him your entire lives, some for just a short time, but all of you, loved him. I know this for a fact because, it is impossible not to. Jon was beyond special. I hate using the past tense because I do not believe for a second that just because his body is gone, that he and all the amazing things about him are gone. When I first met Jonathan I was amazed at how many special people he had in his life. I had never known anyone who was so admired and loved by so many. I am envious of all of you who knew him before me, who have countless memories and fun stories. But in truth, I got the best part of him.
I was drawn to Jon immediately...like a magnet I wanted to be near him. I wanted to know him. My first few moments with him, I knew right away that he was simply amazing. I dove head first into loving him. His smile lit up every room, and warmed my heart. I remember he was hesitant at first. We both knew he was sick and the possibility of what could happen...he wasn't sure he wanted to bring someone into that. He had just been through 14 rounds of high-dose chemotherapy after being told he may not live. It was difficult for him to see next week, let alone a long term relationship. But I persisted, telling him he was allowed to believe in a future for himself, that he deserved that, and soon enough, he did. In my heart, I know that that belief is what kept him going against all odds.
For most of our relationship, cancer was just a crappy obstacle we had to deal with. We had a full, happy life together. Jonathan felt pain every day, but swore it was worth it and would never stop him from having everything. Reading his words, listening to him sing, watching him perform on stage, smiling that smile that everyone knows and loves... I was in awe of him, every day. We completed each other.
These last two months have been the hardest I have ever faced. People keep telling me how strong I am, but in truth, it's just love. When you truly love someone, you take on their troubles, you face whatever comes your way, no conditions. The other option is to fall apart -- but what good does that do anyone?
Jon hated when people said "things happen for a reason". He believed we were meant to meet, at the exact moment that we met, but he never and I never would accept a 'reason' for someone to face so much suffering. I do know that I made a difference in his life. In a way, our love allowed Jon to believe in magic again -- after his world had been so shattered. I met him when he needed that most, and loved him through it all. I am heartbroken and honored at the same time to say, I loved him through his last breath, the very last beat of his beautiful heart.
Jon's love surrounds me every day. While there are times I am inconsolable and just want to crawl into bed and stay there, I will remember Jon's arms around me, telling me it will be okay. He was a big believer in crying it out, not holding in your emotions. So I'll cry for awhile and then I will remember all of the things Jon did not and will not ever get to do... all of the amazing things he did, and all that he could have done if given the chance. And that will make me get out of bed. Because if given the chance, he might have changed the world. He surely changed mine. Because every moment is a gift. Because if we don't take chances, the way that I did i loving Jonathan, we will surely miss out on the most beautiful things in this world. And mostly because I know he will love me through this.
A few days before he died, I told him I was so afraid that I would never be okay without him. He said, "You will be. You will be sad sometimes, that's a given...but you'll be happy again."
I miss him. So much it's impossible to put into words. Although we didn't get to our wedding, he was my husband. Our souls are connected. I carry his heart in mine.
Lastly, I wanted to share with you part of Jon's wedding vows. Although he wrote them to me, they could have very easily been mine. I want you all to know without a shadow of a doubt that although he is gone too soon, he lived. Although he did not get the life he truly deserved, he did find love. And knowing that I gave that to him, knowing that someone as special as he could love me as much as he did, is what keeps me breathing. He often called me his angel, but he is mine.
"Beyond the struggle I found a love. Beyond the trouble, I found a love. Beyond the long days, the one days At a time, the hard to get out of bed days, the don't wanna get out of bed days, for every kind of day, I found a love beyond love. Call it unconditional, call it unconventional, call it inspirational, meant to be; call it what you will; I found the love that I never dared to believe existed for fear of never finding it.
I've said before that anyone we can find in this world who can make us feel those things, those wonderful things, that we didn't know were possible to feel must be an angel. On a few special occasions Ive told you that I've found my angel in you, and that reality hasn't changed. I'm still trying to figure out how I've managed to keep my angel with me every day for so long, and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to make you happy every day for the rest of our lives. Through good and bad, thick and thin, I LOVE you with a love beyond love. And with every single part of me, I love you completely."
The truth is, no amount of time would have ever been long enough. And although I am falling apart inside, I still consider myself lucky.