CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – It’s been a year since Hyong Yi’s wife lost her battle with cancer. Yi, Charlotte’s Assistant City Manager, honored his wife in a special way Friday morning.
Yi’s wife succumbed to ovarian cancer on Nov. 21, 2014. He says he was grief-stricken when it happened.
“It’s been the hardest year of my entire life. I would have really liked to have stayed in bed for the entire year,” said Yi.
Friday, Yi and his two children could be found at the intersection of Trade and Tryon Street. The family handed out dozens love notes to strangers. Why? To honor Yi’s wife’s memory, and turn a day Yi was dreading into a day he could celebrate.
“I decided that rather than just let it happen, and hit me, I would do something about it,” explained Yi.
With the help of his late wife’s friends, Yi crafted the 100 love notes. In addition to a thoughtful, heartfelt message, each note contains a blank card for someone else to write a love letter and pass along.
“We all need a reminder of what’s important and that’s my job today,” Yi stated. “I did not fully appreciate how great and wonderful and fantastic, loving, caring and thoughtful she was until I didn’t have it anymore.”
Members of the public reacted in different ways after receiving a note. Most seemed appreciative.
“It’s just a very beautiful thing you don’t see a lot anymore. It’s absolutely fantastic. I love it,” said Adia Chue, a visitor to Charlotte who happened to receive a letter Friday.
Yi said he is hoping the notes will have an overall positive impact on the community.
“This is my part in honoring my wife, building a better community, spreading love, spreading kindness, spreading community, and so I hope good things will happen as a result of it,” he explained.
You can read more about Yi’s love note efforts here.