When author Amy Krouse Rosenthal's now-famous essay was published in The New York Times' Modern Love column last month, people 'round the world became captivated by her heart-wrenching words. In "You May Want to Marry My Husband," Rosenthal, who was dying of ovarian cancer, wrote about her husband's many virtues and asked potential future lovers to see in him what she saw.
Rosenthal's essay went viral. She died 10 days later.
With her passing, Rosenthal left behind her husband, Jason, of course — but she also left behind her daughter, Paris. Understandably, we haven't heard much from Paris since her mother's passing — but now, in an essay for TODAY, the 20-year-old explains how she's carrying on her mother's legacy.
Paris writes that one of her mom's favorite things to do was come up with something new every day, and this new thing always had to be expressed in a three-part list. Some days she wrote three short poems. Other days she sketched out three small drawings. Other days she simply jotted down three related ideas.
Regardless of the subject, Rosenthal created a list of three in her spiral-bound notebook, snapped a pic, and posted the photo to her Instagram account every day. She called it, aptly, "Project 1, 2, 3," and posted her finished products to Instagram at 1:23 p.m. daily.
As Rosenthal's health began to decline, however, keeping up with Project 1, 2, 3 became harder and harder. That's where Paris came in: She started helping her mother by sketching out her ideas or snapping pics, and she continued doing so until Rosenthal simply couldn't devote the time and energy to the project any longer.
Her goal had been to post a new list for 123 days; she only made it to Day 61.
But then, one day, Paris had an idea: What if Project 1, 2, 3 didn't have to end? The 20-year-old created a new Instagram account (@akr.par) on February 1 and posted the first photo of her own Project 1, 2, 3: an image of a doll that represents her mom. She labeled the post "Day 62."
Since then, Paris has posted a new photo at 1:23 p.m. every day. But instead of sharing creative lists of three, Paris shares photos that remind her of her mom and the moments they shared. Some of the snaps are silly while others are solemn, but all honor Rosenthal in a way only her daughter could: with their most treasured memories. (It's OK — we're crying, too.)
Follow Paris on Instagram at @akr.par to see Project 1, 2, 3 reach 123 days.