"He is an easy man to fall in love with. I did it in one day."
Chicago author Amy Krouse Rosenthal, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2015 and is terminally ill, has touched people's hearts across the globe with her latest essay about her husband.
The diagnosis came just as Amy and her husband, Jason Rosenthal, who she has been married to for 26 years ("I was planning on at least another 26 together", she said) were embarking on empty-nesthood, with the youngest of their three children having just left for college.
Her plans of applying for writer’s residencies, of travelling to Asia and South Africa were suddenly over. "No wonder", she wrote, "the word cancer and cancel look so similar."
Amy tells the tale of their epic love story in her essay 'You May Want to Marry My Husband' published in the New York Times Modern Love column, creating a "dating profile" for her husband in the hopes that when she's gone, "the right person reads this, finds Jason, and another love story begins."
She tells the reader that her husband "is an easy man to fall in love with. I did it in one day."
"I have never been on Tinder, Bumble or eHarmony" she wrote, "but I’m going to create a general profile for Jason right here, based on my experience of coexisting in the same house with him for, like, 9,490 days.
"First, the basics: He is 5-foot-10, 160 pounds, with salt-and-pepper hair and hazel eyes."
What follows is a list of all the things that Amy loves about her husband, the kind of list that most people could make about someone they care for, caring little details that all add up to a shared life.
"He is a sharp dresser," Amy wrote. "Our young adult sons, Justin and Miles, often borrow his clothes. 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.
"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."
Jason is a lawyer, an excellent cook who procures olives and cheese before making the evening meal, and an amateur artist who wakes up early every Sunday morning to surprise his wife by "making some kind of oddball smiley face out of items near the coffeepot: a spoon, a mug, a banana."
"Did I mention that he is incredibly handsome?", she adds. "I’m going to miss looking at that face of his."
Amy reveals that she has the word "more" tattooed on her arm - she wrote that it helps to explain her reasons why she's writing this essay for Jason.
"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. So why I am doing this?
"I am wrapping this up on Valentine’s Day, and the most genuine, non-vase-oriented gift I can hope for is that the right person reads this, finds Jason, and another love story begins.
"I’ll leave this intentional empty space below as a way of giving you two the fresh start you deserve."
The essay leaves a gap on the page, a gap for a theoretical woman to start a new future with Jason, before Amy signs off with "all her love."
You can read the essay in full here.