'I Ask That You Live': Pat Tillman's love letters to his wife
When Pat Tillman was deployed to Iraq for the first time, he did
something he had done throughout his love affair with his wife, Marie —
he wrote her a letter.
Except this one was never meant to be read.
Then, during Pat’s tour in Afghanistan, Marie got the news she had long feared. Her husband would never be coming home.
That night, she crept to the bedroom dresser, unearthed the letter and opened it.
'It’s difficult to summarize 10 years together, my love for you, my hopes for your future. . .'
- Pat Tillman, in a letter to his wife
She immediately recognized his familiar scrawl. The pages were a mess
of ink and scribble. There were words and whole sentences crossed out.
She closed her eyes before reading his words:
“It’s difficult to summarize 10 years together, my love for you, my
hopes for your future, and pretend to be dead all at the same time . . .
I simply cannot put all this into words. I’m not ready, willing or
Still in shock, Marie had not cried since she heard the news of her husband’s death. Reading his words, she wept.
Marie thought of the hundreds of letters that they had shared during
their 11-year relationship — an affair she chronicles in her book “The
Letter: My Journey Through Love, Loss, & Life” (Grand Central) out
Tillman died at 27 a tragic hero — a man who left behind a lucrative
contract with the NFL to join the Army, then was killed in a
friendly-fire incident initially covered up by the military.
“But that is not the story I wanted to tell,” Marie told The Post.
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