His Wife's Final Gift

Andrew has been married for 12 years, and his wife has cancer. She was given 6-8 months to live and wants to buy Andrew a boat. How does he handle this situation?

QUESTION: Andrew in Memphis has been married for 12 years, and his wife has cancer. She was given 6-8 months to live. She wants to buy Andrew a boat. They have a little bit of savings, and they have life insurance. He doesn’t want it because he wouldn’t enjoy it. How does he handle this situation? Dave gives Andrew some gentle advice.

ANSWER: That’s very, very sweet of her. In the midst of all of this, she’s thinking about somebody else. Do just what you’re doing right here—be real about it. Continue to do what you guys have been doing. Hug her in your arms and keep talking, praying and crying. I don’t think there’s anything else you can do.

Make sure your faith is intact, and she knows where she’s going and you know where she’s going. If I were you, I’d just smile and say, “Listen, the boat doesn’t have anything to do with this. This is just you wanting to do something nice for me. You’ve done that for 12 years. I’ll make you this promise: If this cancer beats you and you go home to be with Jesus, I’ll buy a boat someday and name it after you.” And put her name on the back of it.

I think you just tell her the truth and be real. That’s all you can do in situations like this. Be honest and loving and kind. Someday when the pain you’re feeling has dulled a little, you may be sitting on a fishing boat catching a big bass somewhere with her name on the back, knowing she’s smiling at you. That would be okay. But you don’t have to do that today, and you don’t have to worry about that six months from now. There’s a boat on every corner, and you can get one whenever you want.