Twenty years ago today my late husband and I stood at the altar and said I Do. 


I do in sickness and in health. 

I do for richer, for poorer. 

I do in good times and in bad. 

I do for better or worse. 


On that day, Jared and I knew there were going to be times of sickness and times of health. We prayed our way through the sick times and we lived our way through the healthy times. We knew we would have good days and bad days.  We were blessed that our good days out numbered the bad.  We knew we could make it through anything together. 


20 years ago we vowed until death do us part. We had no idea that our vow would come to fruition 14 short years later. We had no idea that death does not end love, that love lives on. That love transcends space and time. 


I am so grateful that Jared loved me and spent his forever with me. I was blessed to be his last love. And I know without a doubt I was loved every single day. 


Jared died exactly 7 days, one week before our 14th wedding anniversary.  He was sick and knew he was dying.  And yet he was worried about me.  He asked my mom to take me to get me a specific gift if he wasn’t able to do so. That anniversary ring is one of my most priceless gifts. The fact that he planned ahead and wanted to ensure I had a gift on our anniversary shows the type of man and husband he was.


Because of his love and our time together, I am the woman I am today. His love helped shape me.  Taught me how to love. Continues to influence my life.


I promised Jared I would live and love.  And I have kept that promise.  I met someone new, fell in love, and am remarried.  My new husband honors my love story with Jared.  Celebrates our anniversary.  Sends me flowers with a card that says Happy Anniversary to you and Jared.

No matter how far I travel or how much I love another, I will always love Jared.  Celebrate our love. Be grateful for the time we had together.  And cherish those who celebrate with me.


Twenty years ago Jared and I said I Do.

And I will cherish those memories for the rest of my life. 


Long live love.


Carla always knew she would be a widow but didn’t have any idea how it would actually feel. When Carla met her late husband Jared, he was waiting for a lung transplant due to Cystic Fibrosis, a chronic disease affecting the lungs and pancreas. So she knew that most likely someday she would say goodbye to her husband. But she never dreamt it would be exactly one week before their 14th wedding anniversary. In August 2014, Jared was diagnosed with a rare bacterial infection in his transplanted lung and was expected to survive at least 6 months if not a year. Instead, he died just 6 weeks later. And in the blink of an eye, Carla became a solo mom to their 10-year-old son. And even though her life was forever marked before and after, she was determined to live life to the fullest because her husband would expect no less.

She founded Breathing for Jared, a Foundation to provide college scholarships to those suffering from lung disease in honor of her late husband. Became a supporter of the CF Foundation and Donate Life. And discovered that writing out her emotions and fears on her blog Transplant Wife and Widow helped her to process her grief

Carla recently remarried and is now blending a family with her new husband, bonus daughter, and son.