Amy Krouse Rosenthal, a children's book author, memoirist and public speaker, made headlines this past March when she wrote a heartbreaking essay for The New York Times Modern Love series titled "You May Want to Marry My Husband." Rosenthal, who had terminal ovarian cancer, wrote the essay in the style of a dating profile for her husband, who she hoped would find love after her death. Rosenthal passed away 10 days after the essay was published.
The emotionally-charged essay was enough to bring tears to the eyes of any reader, so it's not surprising it was widely shared. Rosenthal was a creative person who used words to make a difference. Even while she was living with cancer, she worked on a series she titled Project 1,2,3, in which she would post "something new every day that could be expressed in a group of three" ideally at 1:23 p.m. each day.
She had hopes to continue the project for 123 days, but was forced to stop at Day 61 because her cancer had drained her of enough energy.
"I have loved this project so much. For nearly two months now, I've woken up each morning excited about what I would/could create. I've loved the challenge of the early afternoon posting deadline. And then the reward of moving onto other creative matters of the day," she wrote on Instagram. "But in the last few days, this cancer — oh, did I mention I have cancer? — has increasingly (and rudely) robbed me of my normal energy and focus. This has manifested itself in missing my 1:23 deadline and yucky typos — and ugh, how I hate typos. So it is with a heavy heart that I have decided to pause this project for the time being. There are other things I need to be tending to, creating, and focusing on with my limited time."
Rosenthal didn't get a chance to pick the project up again before she died, but her daughter, Paris Rosenthal, recently announced she will continue it in an effort to pay tribute to her mom.
"Her goal was 123 days. She made it to day 61. For the next 62 days, to complete the 123 days, I will take my own variation on this project of hers," Paris wrote on Instagram. "Everyday at 1:23pm, I will post a photo that represents something about Amy Krouse Rosenthal. I will acknowledge AKR in some way every day for the rest of my life, and this is the first step of my journey in doing so."
Since March 20 2017, Paris has posted photos, drawings, an experiment, and a text message exchange with her mom that represents a memory they shared. Some of the posts are beautifully personal, but others can serve as inspiration for anyone to do something positive with their day.
"My project is about sharing our relationship with the world, it’s about letting everyone know how I feel about her," Paris told TODAY. "It’s about representing all that encompasses the Rosenthal family. And it’s about tangibly acknowledging my mom in some way everyday. It’s the only way I know how to get through this."