There’s one thing that needs to be said before we get into this story: Fuck cancer. Fuck cancer hard. That’s not just an academic “fuck cancer” for solidarity points, either. Here at UPROXX, we’ve recently lost one of our own — beloved CTO Jerry Thompson — to the monster, and it’s been really hard to reconcile how someone so wonderful and so healthy could have been taken from us with no warning and no reason. But cancer doesn’t discriminate. And a heartbreaking essay that appeared in The New York Times‘ Modern Love column today is a painful reminder of the aftermath of its horrors.
The post, entitled “You May Want to Marry My Husband,” was penned by beloved author Amy Krouse Rosenthal, who is dying of ovarian cancer. Krouse Rosenthal opens the post by discussing her current state — she’s on morphine, can’t eat cheeseburgers anymore, and is prone to “micronaps” which “whisk her away” from consciousness without warning — and delving into how she and her husband, whom she loves more than anything and will soon be leaving behind, found out about her diagnosis.
Want to hear a sick joke? A husband and wife walk into the emergency room in the late evening on Sept. 5, 2015. A few hours and tests later, the doctor clarifies that the unusual pain the wife is feeling on her right side isn’t the no-biggie appendicitis they suspected but rather ovarian cancer.
As the couple head home in the early morning of Sept. 6, somehow through the foggy shock of it all, they make the connection that today, the day they learned what had been festering, is also the day they would have officially kicked off their empty-nestering. The youngest of their three children had just left for college.
Krouse Rosenthal has been married to her husband for 26 years. She’d planned, she writes, to be married to him for 26 more. Unfortunately, she says, cancer had other ideas. That’s when the author’s prose veers away from her illness and into new and unfamiliar territory — a love letter to the man she can’t bear to say goodbye to written in the style of a personals ad imploring other women to marry her husband, Jason Brian Rosenthal, once Krouse Rosenthal is gone.
I have never been on Tinder, Bumble or eHarmony, 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.
The following list of attributes is in no particular order because everything feels important to me in some way.
He is a sharp dresser. 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. He is fit and enjoys keeping in shape.
If our home could speak, it would add that Jason is uncannily handy. On the subject of food — man, can he cook. After a long day, there is no sweeter joy than seeing him walk in the door, plop a grocery bag down on the counter, and woo me with olives and some yummy cheese he has procured before he gets to work on the evening’s meal.
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.