Amy Krouse Rosenthal has a love story many only dream of, but as her story nears a heartbreaking end, she’s hoping to start the first chapter of another book for her beloved husband.
In an op-ed published in the New York Times Friday, Krouse Rosenthal revealed that her battle with ovarian cancer has left her with likely only days to live – and only a few cherished moments left with her husband and children.
“I have been married to the most extraordinary man for 26 years,” she wrote. “I was planning on at least another 26 together.”
Krouse Rosenthal had gone to the emergency room in September 2015 thinking she may have appendicitis, but she walked out with a very different diagnosis.
“So many plans instantly went poof,” she wrote. “No trip with my husband and parents to South Africa. No reason, now, to apply for the Harvard Loeb Fellowship. No dream tour of Asia with my mother. No writers’ residencies at those wonderful schools in India, Vancouver, Jakarta. No wonder the word cancer and cancel look so similar.”
Krouse Rosenthal’s love story with her husband Jason Brian Rosenthal began in 1989, when the couple was set up on a blind date in Chicago.
“By the end of dinner, I knew I wanted to marry him,” she wrote. “Jason? He knew a year later.”
But 26 years, three children and a cancer diagnosis later, Krouse Rosenthal knew her love story with Jason could soon come to an end. Her op-ed was part a tribute to their endless love, and part a plea to whoever might someday fill the void she’ll leave behind.
“I have never been on Tinder, Bumble or eHarmony, but I’m going to create a general profile for Jason right here, based on my experience of coexisting in the same house with him for, like, 9,490 days,” she wrote. “First, the basics: He is 5-foot-10, 160 pounds, with salt-and-pepper hair and hazel eyes.”
She goes on to say that Jason is a “sharp dresser,” “uncannily handy,” a good cook, a music lover, a painter, a traveler and more.
“Here is the kind of man Jason is: He showed up at our first pregnancy ultrasound with flowers,” she wrote. “This is a man who, because he is always up early, surprises me every Sunday morning by making some kind of oddball smiley face out of items near the coffeepot: a spoon, a mug, a banana. This is a man who emerges from the minimart or gas station and says, ‘Give me your palm.’ And, voilà, a colorful gumball appears. (He knows I love all the flavors but white.)”
It is at this point, Krouse Rosenthal expects women can now “swipe right” on the man she loves, adding that her husband is also “incredibly handsome.”
“I’m going to miss looking at that face of his,” she wrote.
While Krouse Rosenthal notes that she yearns for more time with her “prince” and her children, she may only have a few days left to live – and she’s not wasting them.
“So why I am doing this? I am wrapping this up on Valentine’s Day, and the most genuine, non-vase-oriented gift I can hope for is that the right person reads this, finds Jason, and another love story begins,” she wrote. “I’ll leave this intentional empty space below as a way of giving you two the fresh start you deserve.”
Several empty lines later, she ended her letter by simply writing, "With all my love, Amy."