Love You Till The End

These days, the only thing that keeps me together is my faith. After all, it is what brought us together in the first place…

Claudia and Hayden Brown

I met Hayden at Camp Sonshine one summer when he was just 12 years old. He was a blonde, nerdy kid with glasses and a mushroom haircut, but everyone loved him because he was just so hilarious.

Every summer we would see each other at camp and I had never thought about him romantically—all until he went through puberty and became insanely hot.

Then, one year we were randomly sitting next to each other in chapel. We locked eyes and I knew I was in trouble. Hayden was so handsome and charming, but I had a feeling that it would only be a summer fling since we were just kids.

I was wrong…

The next year my feelings for him were stronger, and after his incessant requests for us to be together, I finally agreed.

It was the best decision I ever made in my life. I was young, but at 17 I knew I’d found the love of my life and the man that I wanted to marry.

Hayden felt the same way. He told me once that he loved me before he ever kissed me.

It wasn’t always a fairytale. We went through so much together and definitely had to overcome major bumps along the way.

After that wonderful summer at camp, we struggled with communicating since we lived 6 hours away from each other. We called it off for about a year, in which Hayden had a son, Ryder.

The rough patches kept coming at us and we waited so long to be with each other that we never thought our relationship would happen. I should’ve trusted that God had a plan for us the whole time. It seemed that he also thought that Hayden was “the one.”

In 2014, we ended up in the same city. Finally, it seemed like the universe was conspiring for us to be together. On my 23rd birthday, Hayden asked me to marry him, and a month later we were husband and wife.

Those were the best days of my life, my own little fairytale. I always felt so thankful to have found true love so early in life that I was able to marry the love of my life—the man I imagined myself spending the rest of my days with.

Hayden is gone now. Being a widow is the hardest thing I’ve ever done and probably will ever do. But, being married to Hayden was the greatest blessing I’ve had.

He may not be here, but he is still the most amazing person I have ever met. He left me with so much love. He was a great friend, son, brother, but an even greater husband and father. Ryder, his son, is the sweetest five year old to ever exist. He is so smart and reminds me so much of his father.

It’s not always easy to stay positive, but I tell myself that God still has a plan for my life. Hayden made me feel special every single day, and he always made sure to tell me that he loved me, even when I didn’t deserve it.

I never imagined I would lose him, but having had his love is something I will always have with me. I rest assured that whatever happens from now on, I will see Hayden in Heaven again one day. And even if I had known things would end this way the first time I realized Hayden was looking at me, I’d still do it all over again.


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