This Man

Today isn’t a special day. It isn’t a birthday or anniversary or holiday. It isn’t the day my husband returns home from an 8 month deployment, and it thankfully isn’t the day he leaves for one. It’s not a day of significance and that’s why I’d like to take this opportunity to share my gratitude for him. He’s the strong, silent type, unless you give him a beer and turn on college football… But in all seriousness, I feel very blessed that our paths randomly crossed back in 2002. We were just retracing our steps of that fateful day with each other a while ago. It’s still quite amazing to me that we even met, after fully comparing notes.

We have both been through a lot in our lives, prior to the beginning of our life together. Those experiences made us who we were when we began our relationship. Since then we’ve been through quite a bit too – extremely celebratory highs and even some really seemingly bottomless lows. Sometimes I have to remind myself to look back on our entire life together to be grateful for who I have. I get caught up in the moment and don’t always reflect on who my husband is as a whole man. I look at the situation I’m in at the time and react on that alone, often without thinking rationally.

This is a man who has devoted and sacrificed a large percentage of his life to serving in the US Navy. He is still serving. He is great at his job and he loves what he does. He has passion for his service, his duties, and his people. You can see he has a hard time accepting “Thank you for your service,” from strangers. He downplays his importance & sacrifices.

This man has an incredible memory and he is always paying attention to what’s going on, though we may not see that. He can rattle off stats like I’ve only seen winning contestants do on quiz shows. I often have to remind myself that this is part of his personality and talent in this world, not something to be annoyed by.

This is a man who spent his last birthday actively purchasing a motorcycle for a family member across the country, only to not even be contacted by that person when they were visiting close to our home during the holidays. He puts family first. He certainly doesn’t hold grudges. I’m lucky to have that kind of person by my side everyday.

This man’s Command Master Chief insisted that he return home to be with me when I had a major emergency arise while he was on deployment. Men whose wives are in labor aren’t even allowed that privilege. He deserves the respect he has been given.

This same man even went on with marrying me, after I’m sure many encouraged him not to when I had gone through such an unsettling trauma. He is a man of trust and love, and some of the most horrific experiences can bring people closer than ever. I’m thankful he is the sort of man that lives his life in such a manner.

This is a man who exudes passion for everything he loves. If you’re from Iowa, he’d love to hear all about it and he’d love to have you over so that he can grill up some steaks. He’ll insist you play a round of Bags with him. He’s very proud of the handcrafted sets he makes himself. He spends hours in the garage, alone with his thoughts and designs and tools, to create these things. I’ve just finally had my eyes opened to the fact that he has true talent in turning a pile of wood into a piece of custom recreational art.

Without this man, this specific man, I would not have my son. We would not have the son that we have together. Sure, he is just a little boy right now, but it’s our duty and honor to guide him into becoming the loving, creative, respectful, intelligent & hard-working man he will become in no time at all. He will know these stories of his parents. He will know both the successes and failures, the gigantic triumphs and the long periods of no communication. He will have pride in the fact that his father was this man and he will strive to live a life just like he did for himself and for his family.

I just hope this serves as a reminder that we need to celebrate and shout the praises of our significant other on days that aren’t circled on the calendar. They certainly deserve it!