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Have you ever thought about creating a letter like this for your loved ones?

Posted by on Jun. 26, 2012 at 7:39 AM
  • 6 Replies

 Marie Tillman discusses her final gift from husband Pat

“It was okay for me to move forward and to live my life,” she says of Pat's final words to her

On the day she was informed that her husband was killed in 2004, Pat Tillman’s wife also discovered a “just in case’’ letter that he had left her before his deployment to Afghanistan as  a U.S. Army Ranger.

The contents of that letter have helped Marie Tillman continue with her life for the past eight years after that devastating day. The former NFL star became one of the most high-profile casualties of the war on terror after it was determined that he was killed by friendly fire. In her new memoir, “The Letter,’’ Tillman reveals the Pat Tillman she wants the world to know beyond the tough guy exterior.

Read an excerpt from Marie Tillman's ‘The Letter’

During an interview with NBC’s Jenna Bush Hager on TODAY Monday, Marie read aloud from the “just in case’’ letter that Pat left behind for her before leaving for Afghanistan.

“Through the years, I’ve asked a great deal of you,’’ the letter reads. “Therefore it should surprise you little that I have another favor to ask. I ask that you live.’’

Moved by the events of 9/11, Pat and his brother Kevin enlisted together in May 2002, shortly after Pat’s wedding with Marie. He was deployed to Iraq in 2003 and then Afghanistan in 2004, leaving behind the letter that has given his widow strength.

“It's funny because that sort of simple request I feel like has taken on such different meaning over the course of years,’’ Tillman told Hager.

Video: Pat Tillman’s widow carries on his legacy (on this page)

Marie now runs the Pat Tillman Foundation, which provides educational scholarships for veterans and their spouses. Last year, she married Joe Shendon, and they had their first child, Mac Patrick, in January. They live in Chicago with Shendon’s three other boys from a previous marriage.

“I don't know if he knew what he was doing when he left that letter,’’ Tillman said about Pat. “But it was really a gift for me to know that it was okay. It was okay for me to move forward and to live my life.’’ 

by on Jun. 26, 2012 at 7:39 AM
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Replies (1-6):
SisterPeach
by on Jun. 26, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Am I the only one crying right now?

momofsixangels
by on Jun. 26, 2012 at 5:41 PM

Wow! I bet she will cherish that letter forever!

KenzieQsMommy
by on Jun. 26, 2012 at 10:54 PM
Nope. Ever read the book PS I love you? Very similar story. So touching!!! Thar man was the definition of an American hero


Quoting SisterPeach:

Am I the only one crying right now?


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SisterPeach
by on Jun. 27, 2012 at 12:16 AM

I think they made a movie out of that and I saw that, which was fantastic! I bet the book was better.

Quoting KenzieQsMommy:

Nope. Ever read the book PS I love you? Very similar story. So touching!!! Thar man was the definition of an American hero


Quoting SisterPeach:

Am I the only one crying right now?



KenzieQsMommy
by on Jun. 27, 2012 at 12:39 AM
Way better. And I never even saw the movie lol


Quoting SisterPeach:

I think they made a movie out of that and I saw that, which was fantastic! I bet the book was better.

Quoting KenzieQsMommy:

Nope. Ever read the book PS I love you? Very similar story. So touching!!! Thar man was the definition of an American hero





Quoting SisterPeach:

Am I the only one crying right now?





Posted on CafeMom Mobile
StephanAndCoral
by Stephanie on Jun. 27, 2012 at 1:35 AM
So sweet and sad. I have thought of leaving my dh son and daughter a letter each bit haven't done it yet.
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