Brenda Schmitz, mother of four boys and wife to a loving husband, lost her battle with ovarian cancer in 2011. But her remarkable spirit lives on this Christmas.
Before she passed, she wrote a letter and gave it to a friend, to be sent in to Des Moines radio station KSTZ once Schmitz's husband David found love again.
KSTZ has been granting Christmas wishes for listeners for more than two decades. But this year's wish brought the entire station to tears, after reading Brenda's letter over the air with David in the studio.
His wife asked the station to grant three wishes: One for his new love, another for her husband's new family and another for the nurses and doctors who took such good care of her at Mercy Medical Center.
Brenda said she wanted the new woman in her boys' lives to be pampered for a day at the spa, because "she deserves it, being a step-mother to all those boys, and especially giving little Max a mother's love that only she can give."
David's new fiancé, Jayne Abraham, is a mother of two. Brenda added in her letter, "Thank you. I love you, whoever you are."
Her second request was a "magical trip" for the entire family, so they could make memories to last a lifetime. Brenda's final wish was a night out for the entire cancer unit, full of food and drinks, "for all they do every day for the cancer patients they encounter."
David listened on as host Colleen Kelly read the letter aloud. He was brought to tears, but said he wasn't surprised Brenda would have made these wishes for them, because that's exactly the kind of woman she was.
Suffice it to say, KSTZ worked to grant all three wishes, with help from their sponsors. The new family of eight will be off to Walt Disney World sometime soon.