Rich Cox was a romantic man in life — and he made sure his death wouldn’t stop his wife from knowing how much he loved her.
On Wednesday, for the eighth time since Rich died in 2012, Valentine’s Day flowers were delivered to Tracey Cox from her late husband.
They came a day before her Feb.13 birthday — just a little earlier than Rich’s flowers are usually delivered. And yet again, Tracey cried “happy tears.”
Rich was “one of a kind, there will never be another,” Tracey told USA TODAY.
The Kentucky couple was married for more than 25 years before Rich lost his three-year battle with throat cancer at the age of 53.
Tracey and Rich married in 1986, just three months after they met.
Looking back, Tracey and daughter, Bethany, have many happy memories of Rich’s romantic gestures. Doors held open, father-daughter dates, celebratory limo rides and lots of flowers.
“My dad was the most romantic, emotional man I ever met,” Bethany Cox said.
Toward the end of his life, Tracey and Rich renewed their vows. They took a dream vacation to Hawaii. He planned his own funeral.
And he made arrangements so Tracey would be reminded of his love, even after his death.
He died on Flag Day, which had deep meaning to him. During the 1970s, Rich served in the U.S. army burying soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.
Tracey — who lives in Georgetown, Kentucky — said Rich worked hard at his painting business to support the family, allowing her to stay at home with their four children.
When the flowers came again this year, so did the memories for Tracey. Rich was a “husband, best friend, soul mate.”