INDIANAPOLIS – Chase Smith’s final words to Sadie, they were words to comfort her, to make sure she would be OK after he was gone. His final words to Sadie were the reason he never wanted to die. He always wanted to be there to protect Sadie from the pain, the heartbreak of true love – their true love – ending.
“God gave Chase the strength to say his last words to me,” Sadie Smith said April 8, four days after her husband died of Ewing’s sarcoma. “He said, ‘I love you. Worry 0%.'”
For two days, Sadie lay next to Chase in bed, her head on his chest holding him, Chase’s arm around her body. They were in their Bargersville, Indiana, home, where Chase wanted to be when he died. It was Easter Sunday morning. Family surrounded him. Sadie clung to him.
“I whispered in his ear that everything was going to be OK and that he won this fight,” said Sadie. “I continued to reassure him that it was OK to let go and it was time for him to run into God’s arms with no more pain and suffering.”
Just moments before Chase had the strength to talk to Sadie for the last time, she whispered to him: “I know you know how much I worry, but I will try not to worry and I love you so much.”
That’s when Chase told her he loved her, too, and there was no need to worry.
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“God was there with us and gave Chase the strength in the moment,” she said. “Chase spoke the words he knew I needed to hear.”
And then Chase was silent.
“I kissed his face and never let go until he entered the gates of heaven and took his last breath,” said Sadie. “I just know that he butterflied his way all the way to Jesus with no pain. I trust God’s plan. I cannot wait to run and jump into his arms when we meet again.”
Chase died at 11:38 a.m. April 4. He was 19.
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‘He always will be my soul mate’
“I’m not doing well,” Sadie said. “I lost half my heart, my best friend, my everything.”
Chase and Sadie married April 29, 2020, just days after he learned the cancer he had been fighting since he was 13 had attacked again, spread throughout his body and was terminal. They were senior high school sweethearts. Chase was a swimmer, Sadie a diver.
Inside the hospital when Chase was told he had months to live, he and his dad, Brad Smith, had a heart-wrenching talk. Brad told Chase he would help him get a ring. He knew, he told Chase, that Sadie was the love of his life.
When he got home, Chase told Sadie he didn’t have much time left. He told her he didn’t want to spend one moment he had left without her by his side. Before he could get the words out, Sadie told Chase she’d already been thinking the same thing.
Their wedding took place on the driveway of Sadie’s parents’ house, where the two had shared their first kiss. As Sadie walked toward Chase in her white dress, he shook his head, smiled, looked down and started crying.
“You just don’t see love like this,” Chase’s mom, Kelli Smith, said at the time.
Doctors gave Chase three to five months to live in April 2020. He defied the odds and got 11 joy- and tear-filled months with Sadie, whom he called his angel. As he fought pain and dark moments, Chase said Sadie could comfort him. Sadie said Chase comforted her as he died.
With Chase gone, and her world seeming so empty, comfort does not come easy, Sadie said.
“I’m trusting God to give me strength to get through the day. Chase will always and forever be the love of my life. I love him with everything I have,” she said. “Our love for one another was so deep and passionate that we could never put it in words. Chase was and always will be my soul mate.”
In honor of Chase and because he would have wanted her to, Sadie said, she competed in the Horizon League Diving Championship on April 5.
Her first dive was the highest score of the preliminaries and her highest of the season. The dive was exactly 24 hours after Chase’s death.
“I know that he would want nothing more than for me to dive,” Sadie said. “If I would’ve missed he would’ve been so mad at me. So I went. And I did this for him.”
Losing Chase seems so unfair, but Sadie said she relies on her faith, something she and Chase shared deeply. Each night before they went to bed, they held hands and prayed. Each morning when they woke, they prayed again.
“God took Chase so young because he has big plans for him. He has one big job to do up in heaven,” Sadie said.
Sadie said her mission now is to carry on Chase’s faith and gentle soul.
“I will continue to spread Chase’s legacy by spreading the word of God,” she said, “and living my life by honoring him and Jesus until I take my last breath.”
Read Chase and Sadie’s journey.
Follow reporter Dana Benbow on Twitter: @DanaBenbow