It’s always hard to lose a loved one. Whether a death was expected well in advance or something that came on suddenly, it can leave those around the deceased with a gaping hole in their chests that’s hard to fill.
One thing that can definitely help ease the pain, though, is finding unexpected memories left behind by the departed. That’s exactly what happened for one family not too long ago.
An Imgur user took to the photo sharing platform to tell his story, explaining how a chance problem with a workbench his late father had built long ago helped him provide some extra closure for his mom following her husband’s death.
The user’s stepfather, 51-year-old Mason, passed away suddenly in 2016 from a ruptured artery, leaving behind his stepson and wife Becca to grieve his absence.
In the years before his untimely death, Mason had become a fan of putting his carpentry skills to good use to help out his wife with her newest hobby, metalworking. He’d built her a workbench, fashioning a sturdy surface with extra space underneath for storage, not long before he passed.
Following his death, though, his son noticed that one of the legs on the workbench had broken.
He took it upon himself to try and fix the bench alone, using some of the skills his stepfather had taught him over the years.
Planning to simply detach the legs and add bolts for reinforcement, the Imgur user turned the bench upside down to remove the broken leg. At that point, he noticed something everyone else had missed over the months since the bench was built—there was a set of paragraphs written in red ink on the bottom of the bench surface, scribbled out in none other than Mason’s handwriting.
When he examined the words closer, he was stunned.
What he had discovered was a love letter, written from Mason to Becca on the bottom of her workbench—maybe for her to see, maybe just to inject a bit of love into the table for her. It was clear from the wording that Mason wasn’t sure which would happen, and he didn’t really care either way.
It’s not really clear when the note was written. It’s possible that Mason had included it when he first built the bench – or maybe, he’d been inspired to add it later on, maybe after watching Becca really fall in love with a piece of metalwork that she’d created.
What is clear, though, was that his heart couldn’t have been fuller when he wrote it.
“I love you, Becca,” the letter began.
“Whatever day this is,” he continued, “I hope it’s a good one.”
“I love you, Becca. Whatever day this is, I hope it’s a good one. God truly answered my prayers the day he gave me you. I know that these days are the best I’ll ever have, and I’m glad you’re in them. I’m not sure if you’ll ever see this, but if you do, just know that I love you very much. If there is one thing want in life, it is to be as good to you as you are to me. If I can do that, I’ll be the happiest man alive. I love you, beautiful wife. — Mason”
It was heartbreaking that Becca didn’t get a chance to see the letter until after her husband had passed away, but her son showed it to her anyway. After all, Mason had been the only father he ever knew—and after years of watching the love between the parents that raised him so well, he knew that his mother would want to see just how much she had been adored even during a simple, gritty task like building a workbench.
While Becca couldn’t stop tears from rolling down her face upon the discovery, it was a bittersweet moment for the pair as they began to reminisce about the incredible memories they had of Mason during his life.
The user went on to explain that he didn’t want the memory to fade, or to remain hidden under the table. So even though the work bench had been made with such love and care by his late stepfather, he went ahead and took out the planks that his love letter had been written on—and framed them for his mother, so she could look back on the words and re-read them whenever she wanted a reminder of their relationship.
While Becca and her son still have a lot of emotions to mend and broken hearts to heal, the user concluded that he found the note from Mason at just the right time; although the death of his stepfather still hurt him and his mother immensely, it certainly worked to kickstart their healing.