Craig Strickland and Helen Strickland had planned on having countless conversations together, but after his tragic death at the start of 2016, these were some of the last words they ever exchanged.
It was a year ago on Wednesday that the Backroad Anthem frontman was discovered dead from accidental hypothermia after his boat capsized in a lake during a hunting trip in Oklahoma. At the time, he was 29 years old and had just celebrated his first wedding anniversary with his wife a month earlier.
A few days before Strickland first went missing, he texted Helen to pay her a compliment and update her on his plans for the day. Unbeknownst to her, they would be the last texts she would get from him.
"A year ago today, the search for my husband @backroadcraig concluded," Hellen wrote on Instagram on Wednesday. "I remember receiving these last texts from him before talking for the last time on the phone-I'm so thankful God gave me the blessing of getting to say and hear the words 'I love you' to/from him just moments before he and Chase got in their 10ft flat bottom boat."
In the messages, Strickland told her she looked "so precious" in a photo and also references picking up his dog, Sam, who was later found alive with the body of the singer's friend and fellow traveler, Chase Morland.
"It was truly such a blessing the day we found Craig," Helen recalled. "We were finally able to find some kind of peace knowing he was with his Heavenly Father...Losing Craig was not what any of us desired; but as @strickark told me - when we get sad, we can think of all the ways God will bless others through Craig's story."
On November 29, she also celebrated what would have been their second wedding anniversary with an emotional message and wedding photo montage on social media.
"Happy Anniversary Craig Michael," she began. "I will miss you every step of the way in this life...but I am thankful that I can always look back on the precious memory of our marriage with love in my heart."