It was in 2010 that Todd Weaver was killed by an IED on his second tour of Afghanistan. He was just 26 years old and left a loving wife Emma and sweet baby girl Kiley, who would be too young to remember her loving father.
This story still gives me chills and since his death, the brave soldier has been honored for the way he lived his life. One amazing example of this is what he left for his wife and baby girl in the event of his death.
When Emma, from Hampton, Virginia, learned the heartbreaking news that her loving husband and baby girl’s father had died in an explosion in Afghanistan, the harsh realization that she would never get to say goodbye must have been so painful for the young widow.
Todd realized this fate was a possibility, so prior to his death, he did something about it. His wife, however, wouldn’t find out until days after his funeral.
The decorated officer’s body was was flown home where a memorial service was held so friends and family could pay their respects and instead of flowers were asked to make a contribution to the Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund.
Along with her husband’s remains, Emma received her husband’s laptop, which he had used during his deployment.
Two days after she laid her beloved husband to rest Emma opened the laptop he’d had in Afghanistan and couldn’t believe what she saw.
Although she couldn’t believe what she was seeing, right there in front of her were two Word documents on the computer’s desktop.
One was named ‘Dear Emma,’ the other marked ‘Dear Kiley.’
Todd had written his two ladies a goodbye letter in the event of his death and what amazing and inspirational letters they were.
“I am watching over you right now”
He poured his heart out in both letters but his words were chosen to give them both strength after he was gone. Included in his letter to Emma was the following:
Well if you are reading this, I guess I did not make it home and therefore, I was not able to remind you again of how much I love you.
I love you so much baby and I will always love you. Although I may not be here right now, take comfort in the fact that I am watching over you right now.
I am not gone and I will always be with you in spirit. I know this time must be hard for you but I also know how strong you are.
Never forget that God knew what was best for us before we were even born. Take comfort in that. This happened for a reason. Although you may not believe it now, you will one day.
I want you to know just how important you are to me. I could not ask for a more caring, beautiful and loving wife. The memories that we have shared over the last few years have been the best of my life. Although it may seem like my life was cut short, I lived a life that most can only dream of. I married the perfect woman. I have a beautiful daughter that amazed me every day.
I even had two great dogs — at least most of the time. I couldn’t ask for anything more. If you feel sad, just think back to the memories that we shared. Look at our daughter and how beautiful she is.
Be strong for her. Remind her about her Daddy and tell her that I loved her more than anything else in the world. Her birth was the best day of my life and she was the best thing that ever happened to me. Her smile and laughter represent all that is good and beautiful in this world.
Tell her that Daddy is in heaven now and will watch over her and protect her every minute of every day. I love you Emma. But never be afraid to do what you need to do to be happy. It is so important that you continue to find happiness in your life. Although you may think this is impossible right now, have faith.
Much better times are coming. You and Kiley have a wonderful life ahead of you and I am so happy to have shared some of it with you.
I love you.
Your loving Husband,
The second letter is from Todd to his 9-month-old daugher, Kiley:
Dear Kiley, My Sweetie:
Although you may not remember me, I want you to know how very much your Daddy loves you.
I left for Afghanistan when you were 9 months old.
Leaving you was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
You are so very special to me sweetie — you are truly a gift from God.
The best day of my life was the day you were born.
Every time I saw you smile my heart would just melt.
You were my sweetie — my life was not complete until you were born.
I am so sorry I will not be able to see you grow up.
But remember, your Daddy is not gone. I am in heaven now smiling down on you every day.
You are so very lucky to have such a wonderful Mom to take care of you.
Make sure you are good for her and help her out whenever you can.
Always remember to say your prayers at night and be thankful for all your many blessings.
Never forget how important and special you are to so many people.
We love you so very much. When you get older and start school, do your best and try to learn as much as you can about the world you live in.
Always be nice and caring to others and you will discover that the world will be nice to you.
But when things aren’t going your way, never forget that God knows what is best for you and everything will work out in the end.
You have such a bright and beautiful future ahead of you.
Have fun. Enjoy it. And remember, your Daddy will always be proud of you and will always love you.
You are and will always be my sweetie.
With very much love,
Words brought peace
The letters to each of his leading ladies were emotional, yet strong, showing his bravery as he served, knowing he could end up making the ultimate sacrifice for his country.
Emma wrote in an online blog that although the words were hard to read, they brought her peace and courage.
Both of the letters i now proudly displayed on the wall of Emma’s home.
“Although they are private letters I have thought long and hard about how significant they are and the importance of sharing the depth of wisdom Todd had for being 26 years old at the time of his death,” Emma explained.
Watch the wonderful tribute to this courageous soldier who died while leading a platoon to protect his country.
This story has struck a chord in the hearts of so many. To fight a war and write what he did to his wife and child at just 26 years old is something we cannot begin to imagine doing.
Not only was Todd fearless, he knew something many don’t realize until it’s too late: Never wait to let your loved ones know how you feel because you don’t know if you will get the chance later.
Share this important example with all your loved ones.