I've been posting about important people in my life lately like my Dad, my Mom, but I've waited to write about the most important person, until now.
That's right, I've said it, written it actually, my wife is, hands down, no contest, the single most important person in my life.
She's so important that I, at times, make the mistake of assuming she always knows that. I must believe she somehow ‘knows’, simply through osmosis or something what, and how, I’m feeling, all the time. Part of that feeling comes from the fact that she is, in fact, very intuitive. Intuitive, yes, psychic, no.
I could talk, at length about her ‘physical’ attributes and how attractive and sexy I think she is… but that’s not really the point is it? I mean there are thousands of attractive women (and men if you’re a woman) out there, but, while attractiveness is ‘nice’, for me, it’s not where the love grows. For me, love grows from actions, perceptions, beliefs, interactions… I’ve met a lot of physically attractive people who got very ugly within 5 minutes of the first conversation, and conversely a number of ordinary folks who, the more I was around them, the more attractive they became.
You see, I’m an ‘obsessive’ type guy. It’s not that I actually obsess over things, but more that once something has my attention. And I get focused on it, I tend to lose touch with every, and any, thing else in my environment. Now this particular talent serves me well when I’m trying to write code in a busy office, an airplane or any of the other ‘strange’ places I’ve been known to code, but, it’s not exactly a relationship builder at home. There are times when I’m writing, reading comments, checking out another blog, watching something on TV or working on a car that she’ll come up to me to say something and while I ‘hear’ her, I fail to ‘disengage’ from the task at hand and ‘engage’ with her.
I know this hurts her feelings, comes across as though she’s less important than the task at hand, and hard for her (or anyone) to take. Especially difficult when it’s the person you value most in the world doing it. Most times, she just waits patiently for me to realize that I’ve done it, yet again, and come find her to ‘engage’ in whatever she’d wanted to discuss. I don’t know how she does it. More to the point, I don’t know why *I* do it!
I should be dropping whatever it is I’m doing and refocusing on her. I try, I truly do. Why? It’s simple really, she’s an incredible human being, and she deserves nothing less!
You see, I have the good fortune to be married to the most wonderful person I’ve ever known. She is a strong woman, in every sense of the word, strong:
- In character
- In her physical endurance
- In love, of me, her kids and of course our cats
- In caring about others
As well as in a thousand other ways, but you get the point.
The past three years have been tough ones for us, ‘reality check’ kind of tough, family issues, as well as with us having some physical challenges, not to mention that we have only been married since 2001.
Through it all, she’s ‘toughed’ it out with me, never giving up, slipping into a pessimistic frame of mind or otherwise letting life get her ‘down’. I do not know how “I” would have worked through all of this without her help and support.
In 2002 she suffered a knee injury as we were attempting to finish-up the home we rebuilt for ourselves. For several months she worked on the place, with me, in pain, and only stopping to rest when the pain got too much. She never complained, she just “cowboy’d up” as they say and kept going. Eventually, she ended up having surgery on the knee, it was successful and I thought “great” now we can get back to our ‘old selves’ again!!
It wasn’t to be. In 2003 I suffered two ruptured discs in my neck, at two separate times, with two separate surgeries. I was in a ton of pain, and not very much fun to be around for the better part of that year. Again, she never complained, she just took care of me, in any way I’d let her and patiently waited for me to ‘come back’ as I recovered. It was during this time that I really began to fully realize what a gift I’d found. She had a number of other personal (family type) issues going on at the same time, none of which were minor, but I (and us) was always her primary focus. I tried to help with her family issues, but in all honesty, I doubt I was as much help as I wanted to be.
I don’t remember her ever talking to me about her problems, other than in a constructive manner, no pity parties, just work through it, make a choice, move forward type discussions.
About the time I was fully recovered her health problems started up again, and to one degree or another continue today. Through it all, the doctors, the procedures, the ups and the downs, she’s never given up. Never lost sight of the goal of “getting her life back” as she puts it.
Even last July, in the middle of her own personal medical crisis, when I came home from work mid-morning only to tell her I was unemployed, she never skipped a beat. There was no, “How will we survive?”, “What did you do wrong?”, “How could you let this happen?”… Nope… You know what she said… I remember it clearly…
“You’re, we’re, better off… you haven’t been happy there for a while… So tell me, what do you want to do next?”
Just like that, total faith, in “me”, in us, in our ability to just weather the storm and continue our journey forward. Even though I was ‘all over the map’ on what to do next, we both knew that contracting/consulting was the most likely track for me. She also knew that contracting had been, at the least, a contributing factor during the break up of my first marriage. Despite that, she never once voiced dissent, only support, for what ever I chose to do next.
She has a genuine concern for folks less fortunate than us as well. During my recent “career transition” (sound better than unemployment ‘eh?) she’d ask, “Is it ok to send money to..?” …whatever charity was asking, I’d always say yes, despite feeling pretty broke myself. It just melted my heart to see her thinking about others when, in my mind, “we” were in crisis.
I don’t know if she never felt that way about us, or, if she felt despite our troubles we were still far better off than many. I just know she made me a better person, got me thinking beyond myself, during that time. Maybe she knew I needed to get focused elsewhere, maybe it’s just ‘who she is’… for whatever reason, it’s one of the reasons I love her!
Did I mention she loves to ride the motorcycle with me? She does, and unlike some folks who think a motorcycle ride is going three towns over for lunch and back, I like to “ride”, to go ‘on tour’ as some call it. We went on a motorcycle honeymoon, in April, with the daytime highs in the 40’s at best; some never made it out of the 30’s. We rode through a pretty heavy snowstorm in Roanoke, Va., portions of the Blue Ridge Parkway were closed due to snow and ice, still we rode every day, through the snow and cold, and laughed at our mutual discomfort, yet we still fully enjoyed moments like that sunset over the mountains at a little motel one night.
A few weeks later, in June, we took off on a 13 state, 4,000 mile, 14 day journey, to Denver, Co. and back. It was hot, so hot that we both developed a condition known as ‘monkey butt’ by many riders, again, no complaints, we just had fun. We explored the Rockies, Rocky Mountain National Forest, Mt. Evans where it was actually snowing at the peak, again, (not something you like to see when you’re riding a motorcycle), Garden of the Gods, and dozens of other highlight side trips along the way.
She’s got to be the best ‘packer’ ever to ride on a bike; we (meaning she) managed to pack everything we needed for the trip on the bike and in little more space than most folks have for a weekend jaunt. Imagine getting your partner to take off on a two week vacation with what could be carried in less than two overnight bags!! She’s amazing.
We’ve ridden in the rain, snow, thunderstorms, even a near tornado on Rte. 64 in Guymon, Ok. that had us both rethinking our road choice that day… but never a complaint, we huddled in that picnic shelter watching the horses run from the pasture, just a joy for life, and living, that brings me up, whenever I’m down.
It’s funny, since meeting her I’m in a whole new phase of life. Before Maryan, work was the focus of my life. Today, I work from home whenever I can, and when I have to go to the job site, the best part of my day is coming home to her, and the home we’ve built, together.
Yes, life still has its problems, but we face each and every one together. I never feel like I have to go at anything, alone. We talk, about everything, there are no taboo subjects, nothing ‘out-of-bounds’. She puts the color in my circle.
I’ve had some wonderful people in my life, each putting their own twist in my road. I’ve got lots of “things” too; friends, tools, cars, trucks, motorcycles, computers, this blog… all wonderful in their own right… but I’d give them all up… start all over again to keep her in my life.
I have big dreams, plans and ambitions, all of which, should they come true and along the way I lost this beautiful woman… the price would have been too high.
So darling, we may never be rich, in monetary terms, but I’m the richest man I know because I have you.
Thank you for all you have done, and continue to do. You are truly life’s greatest gift.