In March 2010, six months after she was diagnosed with cancer, Hope Schwab wrote a letter to her adult daughters, Rachel Turbet and Diana Himmelstein. The letter was designed to "keep teaching and guiding us, even if she wasn't around," Turbet said. Hope died on Wednesday in Florida.
Here is a condensed version of the letter:
Dear Rachel and Diana,
Since the time I was young, I have pushed myself to do whatever I needed to, even when that has been difficult. That's why I had an easier time than others going through the medical things I have dealt with.
Try to find the best in every situation. I just finished reading a book by [Viktor] Frankl. He was a Holocaust survivor who endured horrific experiences. He said we cannot control everything in our lives. But we can control [our] attitude in any given set of circumstances.
I find that the more I learn, the more I am curious about. I wish my memory was a little better so I could remember all my reading. But even if I remember only some, it enriches my life. The pursuit of education is a great value to pass along to your children.
Time goes by so quickly. But now it's going at the speed of light. My attitude has helped me be realistic about the rest of my life and not be depressed. It has helped me appreciate the love for my family, great friends, the means to travel - and to accept the fact that we all will die someday. So I might as well make the most of what I can do now.
I realize that even at this stage, I cannot stop giving directions. Humor me. That's just who I am. And I mean well.
Lots of love,