Dear Jim,

It has been 29 months since your death.  And while I have spent countless hours crying, missing you, worrying, and being angry.  I haven’t given much thought about how I should be thanking you.

While it might seem strange, it is an opportunity to cast a different light on our devastating situation.  I mean, I have said countless times that I would choose you; over and over again, even if I had known what would have happened.  I have repeatedly thanked you and God for our beautiful children, who have given me strength when I had none.  But if I take some time to think about our life together there are so many things I can thank you for.

Like how you taught me to not let me emotions color interpersonal interactions.  How to take a step back and let my raging emotions, whether anger or sadness, cool and look at the situation with a different light.  I can look back now and see how the “eternal optimist” who viewed the world through rose colored glasses and saw the only good in people has slowly morphed into someone who is more confident, a realist with a heavy dose of optimism, and cool headed nurse when situations are tense.

You also taught me about the Oreo cookie analogy when having to deliver information that was not going to make the receiver feel good.  You told me “complement them, deliver the uncomfortable news, and complement them again.”  Always end on a good note.  It is a lesson that I always remember, especially at work.  And I have passed it on.

Thank you for teaching me how to make chicken piccata.  Mine is almost as good as yours.  The kids are tough critics but one day I hope that they say it is just like yours.

Thank you for the endless trips to Home Depot or Lowes.  Initially it reminded me of my childhood with my dad, which made me want to cry with boredom, but evolved into actually appreciating that I had a hubby that knew how to do A LOT of household repairs.  I really did learn quite a few household hacks that I am happy to boast about.  And the kids enjoy going there too.  Especially if we need to use the flat bed carts (another reminder of you.)

Thank you for insisting that we always get three quotes when we needed work done.  Never go with the first estimate that you get.  And if the contractor doesn’t get back to you, they must not need the work or your money.

Thank you for insisting that we look at our finances at least twice a year.  And making me do a spread sheet to compare our expenses from year to year, even when I rolled my eyes.  And talking to me about our retirement funds or stocks that you invested it.  You accused me on more than one occasion of not listening…I am pretty sure the glazed eyes gave me away.  All I heard was BLAH, BLAH, BLAH…But some of it stuck!!!  It really helped me when I was trying to buy a house for the first time without you.  I was always thinking, “what would Jim say or do?”  I unconsciously think that with almost everything.

Thanks for helping me be a good mother.  For supporting me and giving me confidence when I wasn’t sure I was doing anything right.

Thank you for teaching me to ski as an adult, taking me ski diving, on motorcycle rides (and giving up the motorcycle willingly after our babies arrived), planning great vacations, being a hands on dad (there is nothing sexier), and loving me for me.  I can easily go on and on.

Thank you Jim!  Thank you for being you and loving me and loving our children.  And being a human being that has left a huge hole on the earth that can never be filled.  WOW- are we lucky!!!  We continue to celebrate your successes and faults and everything in between.  You are so loved and so missed!

Love, me


Elda Marcelynas lost her husband Jim, on March 2, 2017. He was driving home from work when a dead tree fell on his truck. To say their world was shattered in an understatement. Their daughter was 6 and their son had just turned 4 a few days prior. She is forever grateful to their families, friends, and continued grief therapy for pulling them out of the deepest, darkest, hole that almost buried them. It is a journey that continues every day.

Elda has never been much of a writer, more of a reader. And mostly for diversion (historical romantic novels), nothing serious. Her husband would joke that she could get lost in a book for hours. It was the truth. But the joy of reading went out the window, along with many things she/they used to enjoy. What she has realized, is that if she had known what the future held when she met Jim, she would still have chosen him. Again and again. Elda hopes that by sharing her journey of grief, that it may help just one person. And allow others to understand and be more compassionate to the obstacles that are faced by an only parent. Elda started a blog a year after Jim died: The Club I did not choose where you can read more at:

You can also find her on Instagram: @eldamarcelynas