Everyday Transcendence: A Deceased Soldier's Letter to His Daughter

Lieutenant Todd Weaver with Wife Emma and Daughter Kiley

From Britain’s Daily Mail comes the story of Lieutenant Todd Weaver, who was killed by an improvised explosive in Afghanistan in September 2010.  When his wife opened his laptop computer, two days after his funeral, she found letters that her husband had addressed to her and to their baby girl, in case he should die.  In his letter to his wife Emma, he wrote the following:

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 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

He also asked her to be strong, for the sake of the little girl who was only 9 months old when he left:

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…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.

As the father of one little girl, with another one on the way, I can’t help but quote the letter to his daughter in full:

Emma Weaver is now 21 months old.

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,
Your Daddy

See the article in the Daily Mail here.  I love the simplicity of the father’s words, and the beauty and clarity of what he wanted to teach his daughter in the only words of his that she would ever remember.  What would you write in such a letter?  What lessons would you want to leave behind?

Admiral Mike Mullen with Emma and Kiley Weaver

About Timothy Dalrymple

Timothy Dalrymple was raised in non-denominational evangelical congregations in California. The son and grandson of ministers, as a young boy he spent far too many hours each night staring at the ceiling and pondering the afterlife.
 
In all his work he seeks a better understanding of why people do, and do not, come to faith, and researches and teaches in religion and science, faith and reason, theology and philosophy, the origins of atheism, Christology, and the religious transformations of suffering

  • Karen Spears Zacharias

    So hard to read. I have several widow friends whose husbands have left them such letters, or videos. On one hand I’m glad for the children that they have this message from their fathers — on the other hand, I don’ t buy that a soldier’s death is God’s best for any of us. I think he’s just left to clean up the messes we make through wrong-headed Congressional decisions.
    Sadly, it’s most often the women and children who pay the real sacrifice, on a monthly installment plan.
    Poor God.
    Taking the hits when we don’t even give him a vote on war policy.
    ksz

  • http://believersbungalow.blogspot.com/ Chrissy

    My heart breaks for Emma & Kiley, as well as this young man’s entire family. What a blessing for them to have been led by such a godly man.

    While I’m in agreement with the previous commenter as far as this war being a mess made by our “leaders”, I have to disagree with his/her assessment of God’s hand in this. The assumption that it’s not “God’s best for any of us” presupposes that God is either 1)impotent or unable to control the situation, which means that something else is more powerful than He; or 2)fallible & able to make errors. I find proof to the contrary of both in His Word. We may not understand why things have happened the way they did – which often leads to us disagreeing with said events – but we must remember that God is God & we are not. He’s not poor, impotent, or wrong. He’s sovereign, He’s good & wise, He’s loving, He’s faithful & trustworthy. And one day, He will right all the wrongs that our sin has wrought upon this earth. The believer’s sin has already been paid for by the blood of Christ; one day all sin & its effects will be dealt with incontrovertibly.


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