Please join me in wishing my amazing and beautiful wife Jill, a Happy Birthday today.
When it comes to my beautiful wife, words are difficult for me. And I’m considered a columnist (these days), but I’m gonna try my best. The best description I can give about her is this:
She is the air I breathe
She’s the air in my lungs. The blood in my veins. I am the man I am because of her, I am the man I have become because of her and I am growing into the man I’m destined to be because of her.
She saved me… from me. My life before her was literally falling away.
She has taught me humility when I needed it most. She has taught me strength when I wanted to give up. She has taught me love, when I wanted to scream. She has taught me laughter when I wanted to cry. She truly is the foundation of our marriage, and I would be lost without her.
Not many people know this about my wife, but she truly is the poster child for exuding strength from within. She emulates the human condition in ways I still cannot quite get the hang of. 11 years ago my wife lost everything she possessed.
From a Facebook status message she posted recently:
11 years ago today I lost everything in a house fire. I still mourn for my furbabies every day. But I will never forget my family, friends and complete strangers that helped me through. I am very thankful for what I have gained from that loss. Sean Dent Carrie Goral Raymond Goral Jodi Omerzo Darcie Burns MorrisMisha ComninosBonnie Mikulin WalshJessie Jones-Gerber Joy Fox and the SRHS nursing class of 2005.
She lost it all in a tragic house fire. I mean everything. Every earthly possessions. All of her memorabilia. All of her clothing. She also owned a house-full of animals. Dogs and cats. All but two cats died in that fire. If you know anything about my wife, she’s an animal lover. She loves animals, she loves her cats, like they were her children. She would walk to the ends of the earth for those furballs. And she lost all of them. The two that did survived were so traumatized that they never really recovered. If my memory serves me right, they ran away eventually, or they lived out the remainder of their lives in a different home. It broke her heart.
Through that whole process, my wife (and I) were knee deep in Nursing school.
Instead of taking a pass. Instead of taking some time off, which she rightfully deserved. She pressed on. She not only pressed on, but she kicked ass. She never faltered, and she never let her pain show. She defined what a ‘Strong Woman’ looks like. The suit of armor she wears is simply impenetrable.
It’s been 10 years of marriage and 12+ years of friendship and she still amazes me on a daily basis. Her relentless self-sacrifice and selflessness is infinite. She entire existence is all about serving our family.
While, I know she will hate me for this. Another little known fact about my wife is that she battles with a pretty advanced form of Rheumatoid Arthritis. She’s been fighting that battle for about 15 years. It’s advanced enough that she lives with non-stop pain. She never has a pain-free day, she only has moments of “less pain”. The amount of pain she endures, the amount of discomfort she tolerates is mind blowing. Yet she approaches every single day with a smile on her face, never peeping a word about the searing pain she is experiencing. She makes adjustments, she adapts her habits and presses forward. Every day of her life.
Every time I think I’m having a bad day, I think about my wife. I think about how she endures so much, but yet never complains. And I hush my complaints. I am continuously humbled by her inner and outer strength.
I write these words in a vain attempt to let her know just how truly amazing she is to me, to her family, to her friends, to her colleagues and all her “children” she helps on a daily basis. Our lives are truly elevated because she’s in them. She brightens every room she enters and she has an amazing talent for making everyone around her feel “at ease”.
Happy Birthday babygirl.
Thank you for saying yes.