Woman granted Christmas Wish for family two years after her death

Dec. 23, 2013 at 8:41 AM   |   0 comments

DES MOINES, Iowa, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- A woman got her three wishes granted two years after she died from ovarian cancer, courtesy of a Des Moines, Iowa, radio station's Christmas Wish program.

A letter written by Brenda Schmitz a month before her death in 2011 was sent to KSTZ-FM by an anonymous friend -- only after her husband, David, found someone new to marry, the Des Moines Register reported Monday.

The station's annual Christmas Wish program receives submissions of wishes and consults with local partners to grant some of them.

"She was so selfless," her husband, David Schmitz, told the Register. "She knew what I was going to go through, and the kids especially."

David and Brenda were married in 2007 and had one son, Max, now 4. Brenda brought one son from a previous relationship to the family, 21-year-old Carter, and David brought two sons, Josh, 17, and Justin, 14.

KSTZ exec Scott Allen said in the 20-plus years the station has been doing the Christmas Wish program, "We've never received a wish like this, ever."

"I have a wish for David and the boys and the woman and her family if she has kids also," she wrote. "I want them to know I love them very much and they always feel safe in a world of pain."

Then she outlined the wishes, one for her husband's new spouse, one for the new family and one for her hospital caregivers.

The first wish: that David's new partner -- Jayne Abraham, who he asked to marry during the summer -- get a day of pampering. Abraham brings to the relationship her two children, Madison, 15, and Sam, 13.

"She deserves it," Brenda wrote. "Being a stepmother to all those boys, and especially giving lil' Max a 'mother's love' that only she can give. Make her smile and know her efforts are truly appreciated from me."

The second wish: "For the family -- a magical trip. ... Somewhere where they all can enjoy their company and companionship as a family and create those memories that will be with them forever."

The third wish: Some merriment for the cancer nurses and doctors in her unit at Mercy Medical Center -- "A night out full of drinks, food and fun for all they do everyday for the cancer patients they encounter."

Allen said "there wasn't a dry eye in the room" when the station got the letter.

With the help of sponsors, the blended family of eight will vacation in Disney World, where Abraham will have a spa day, and the oncology unit at Mercy Medical Center will have three catered meals.

"There was no question that we were going to do something for this wish," Allen said. "It was what could we do that would be deserving of Brenda's name and memory."

Brenda said in the Christmas Wish letter -- she had enclosed letters to David and his fiancee -- that the wishes were just part of what she instructed her anonymous friend to do.

"I just don't think the story is over," he said. "I'm prepared now, let's put it that way."

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