Written by: Jeremy Baumhower
My thoughts are with my friend Katelyn Mazur today.
She recently lost her husband after a long up-and-down battle following an unsuccessful transplant surgery. He was 37 years old and we buried him two and a half weeks ago. He was my friend.
On this day in 2006, Aaron Mazur and Katelyn Johnson got married; today would have been their 8th anniversary.
It takes an aMAZing amount of strength to be the woman Katelyn has been since August, when they got the bad news. They have two small children and she had to be a wife, a mother, a cheerleader, an organizer, a public relations person for family and friends, a nurse and do this all while being incredibly positive.
She worked so hard because she wanted Aaron to be here for today and all future anniversaries. She sadly did not get her wish, no one did.
These first couple of weeks have been excruciatingly brutal. Since Aaron’s passing he has missed a Mother’s Day and a pre-school graduation.
I saw Katelyn and her children last Thursday night at a restaurant. My family was eating there and our kids got to meet. This small world of life, and someone, somewhere sat them next to us. I could feel her pain because I knew her story, not for what she wearing on her face… for her smile has continued.
Through all this pain, the up-and-down medical news, the eventual loss of her husband, the missed special events of the last two weeks and here this woman was still smiling. Katelyn somehow was still being positive.
After seeing her post a wedding picture on Facebook this morning, I realized why she was still wearing a smile. She truly loved her husband.
Some people go an entire lifetime never having a understanding of how love feels. They may think they were in love, but aren’t sure. There was no definitive proof. Some never experience a moment where your feelings for a significant other, are so overwhelming that it fills with your heart so full… that tears pour out to relieve the pressure from your chest. Katelyn is blessed not to be one of those. She held her man’s hand through life’s darkest moment, never once letting go.
Katelyn’s continued smile through all of this pain and heartache proves she knows what true love is and for that she is won of the lucky few. She loved Aaron and gets to raise and enjoy everyday two reminders of their love. She gets to cherish their time together and carry that love inside her heart for the remainder of her life.
She is one of life’s lottery winners, although it won’t feel that way today.
To Katelyn on her 8th anniversary of knowing what love is.
To everyone else: If you are looking for love I hope you find your ‘Aaron’ or ‘Katelyn’ in this lifetime. If you have and you can still feel their heartbeat, the warmth of their breath, their touch… know how blessed that you get another day with them. Will you do me a favor and do something special today? Please give an unexpected kiss or send a random text; because I know one person who would do anything to be able to do that today.. and that person is still smiling.
If you are moved by their story and wish to experience the love they share.. On June 22nd, there will be the Aaron Mazur Memorial Bike Run to raise awareness about the power of organ donation and the lives and love it can save.