The following remarks were written very much off the cuff in the midst of my grief. I recognize there are a significant amount of grammar mistakes, sloppy word choices, and unusual tone of voice throughout. That said I hope you can see past those issues and appreciate the points I am trying to convey about my wife and what kind of person she was.
The world lost a beautiful and amazing person on Friday May 6. At approximately 12:30 am my wife died of complications from a severe asthma attack. She died at her/0ur home with her husband (myself) at her side. I am trying to take some little comfort in the fact that she did not die alone but rather in the arms of the person who loved her most in the world. Though my grief, agony, anger, and guilt are still so raw, I do not want to dwell on my feelings with these comments. I recognize that her friends and family share a part of my pain. Rather I want to celebrate some of the things that made her such a wonderful and special person.
Victoria was the most open, honest, generous, and caring person I knew or have ever known. At times her openness and honesty left her vulnerable. Some people abused her trust and generosity. I always told her she should be less trustworthy, less open, and even less honest. As I write those words now I see how awful a thing to do that was. Luckily for the world no matter how many times she was hurt or I asked her to be more careful she never changed her ways. She was just a fundamentally good person down to her core. If everyone in the world shared her beliefs and values concerning how to treat other people it would be like a paradise. I will give just one example of her caring nature though I could cite hundreds more. Recently she had a chance encounter with a destitute mother and father with a small child. After just meeting them she offered to take them to the store and buy diapers and formula for their baby. Vickie was broke herself but no matter how little she had she never hesitated to help anyone in need in any way she could.
She cared about animals (sea turtles and birds were her favorite) almost as much as she cared about people. Though her career was too short, the happiest time in her life was when she worked as a wildlife biologist with the National Park Service in gulf islands Florida. She loved to travel too. She spent significant amounts of time backpacking through Europe. She even traveled across India for six months seeing most of the country including the difficult to reach and dangerous Kashmir region. She was just fearless when it came to travel. She was fearless about many things.
Victoria was also brilliant. Not only did she have a masters degree in microbiology but her IQ (I just discovered) was in the 90th percentile indicating she was more intelligent than 90% of the population. She was always putting herself down. Calling herself stupid. It broke my heart to hear her talk like that. It was not true at all.
Her inner beauty shined bright and she was blessed with great physical beauty too. So many times when I looked at her I found myself having to catch my breath. She seemed to get even more lovely as she aged. I still struggle to understand how a girl like her could fall in love with a guy like me. I was so lucky to have her. Though our relationship was rocky at times and we had recently separated with the intention of divorcing we could never agree to actually do it. I think we both knew in our hearts that we were meant to be together forever and would eventually heal our relationship. If there is such a thing as soulmates she and I were.
I can’t overemphasize how much of a positive impact she had on me. She taught me by example so much about what it means to truly love other people. She always had my back. I knew or thought I knew that she would always be there for me.
I could go on forever about Vickie and how great a person she was but I think I will close these comments with my wedding vows to her from our marriage ceremony on April 13, 2012 at Pensacola Beach, Florida.
“My dearest Victoria,
I know this place has brought you great joy. As you have cared for the turtles that nest here and the birds that fly overhead I now vow to care for you. Though with each passing wave many grains of sand are washed out to sea, the beach endures. So my love for you is like this beach. It may be buffeted by waves and storms yet it shall persevere from now until the ends of our lives. I give my heart to you fully and without reservation. I promise to protect and shelter you from all the hardships of life. I vow that from this day forward there is no more mine, only ours (except for the tv remote). We will make all decisions together and act as one in all things great and small. We have walked a long and winding road together and though at times our paths have diverged I have now returned to you for all time. With this ring I give my life to you and ask only that you treasure it as I have treasured you. That which can be said can be said clearly and so now I say to you I love you and always shall.”
Please keep her in your thoughts and pray for her soul. If there is a heaven I am certain she is there now. No doubt trying to help some angel in distress at this very moment. I loved her so much. I miss her so much. I will never forget our time together. I will honor her memory in every way I can until I pass from this world and we finally reunite our souls for eternity.