Children’s Book Author Dying of Terminal Cancer Seeks New Wife for Husband in Heartbreaking Essay

Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Amy Krouse Rosenthal Trevor Haldenby/Flickr

Get the tissues ready for this one. Amy Krouse Rosenthal, a renowned children’s book author who was diagnosed with terminal cancer a little over a year ago, wrote a heartbreaking essay for The New York Times’ “Modern Love” section on Friday, March 3, encouraging women to date her husband of 26 years, Jason.

Rosenthal kicked off her viral piece by admitting to the difficulties she felt in penning such an emotional essay, especially, she joked, due to a “lack of juicy cheeseburgers.” The Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life author explained that she and Jason went to the emergency room on the evening of September 5, 2015, and were told by the doctor that “the unusual pain the wife is feeling on her right side isn’t the no-biggie appendicitis they suspected but rather ovarian cancer.”

The reality of the situation — and the timing, as their youngest child had just left for college — set in quickly. “No trip with my husband and parents to South Africa,” Rosenthal wrote. “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.”

Out of all of her regrets, however, one loomed biggest: that she wouldn’t be able to spend “another 26 years” with the man she loved so much.

“He is a sharp dresser. Our young adult sons, Justin and Miles, often borrow his clothes,” Rosenthal began her intimate recounting of all of Jason’s attributes. “Those who know him — or just happen to glance down at the gap between his dress slacks and dress shoes — know that he has a flair for fabulous socks. He is fit and enjoys keeping in shape.”

Additionally, she wrote, “Jason loves listening to live music; it’s our favorite thing to do together. I should also add that our 19-year-old daughter, Paris, would rather go to a concert with him than anyone else.”

Rosenthal even listed a litany of Jason’s quirks, such as his “affinity for tiny things: taster spoons, little jars, a mini-sculpture of a couple sitting on a bench, which he presented to me as a reminder of how our family began,” or his tendency to make “some kind of oddball smiley face out of items near the coffeepot: a spoon, a mug, a banana.”

In summary, she wrote, “I want more time with Jason. I want more time with my children. I want more time sipping martinis at the Green Mill Jazz Club on Thursday nights. But that is not going to happen. I probably have only a few days left being a person on this planet.”

What she hopes by writing her essay, she explained, is that “the right person reads this, finds Jason, and another love story begins.”

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