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Posts Tagged ‘husband’

On 3 May 2008, I gave a talk entitled, “Mission Possible:  Putting Family First at the Mom, You’re Incredible! event, which was sponsored by the Neeje Association for Women and Family.  I am posting an article based on the outline for that talk on this page.  Because of the length of the article, it will be published on this blog on the page “Putting Family First” in several parts over a period of two weeks.

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My Better Half

February 16, 2003My heart is 39 years old today. No, it’s not my birthday, and the man in the photo is not a burglar. That is my husband, Michael, and today is his birthday. The photo was taken by a friend of his on February 16, 2003, which happened to be one of the coldest days of that year (at least according to a news account then).

I think back to the first day we met and all the days in between until today — and I am so grateful for the man that he is. We were completely in love when we got married and promptly had three kids within three years. We moved to Canada in 1999 with four kids (the oldest 5 years at the time) and with another one on the way. We stayed in 3 different rentals before we finally bought our very first home. We have had eight children in the fourteen years we’ve been married. He has worked hard at different jobs, is a very professional and extremely good photographer (I’d say it even if I wasn’t married to him…..) and he continues to give 100% at his job everyday. We’ve laughed a lot, fought some, prayed together and hold our marriage vows sacred. Ours has been an amazing adventure together!

I understand what people mean when they identify one’s spouse as their better half. It makes so much sense, at least for us it does. Mike is my better half; he completes the unfinished parts of my life like no one else can and ever will. He is the patient half of our marriage; the strong but silent type. He shares my dreams and gives me courage to carry on when I cannot see past disappointments and failures. He knows when to listen and he knows when not to listen too much. He knows how to apologize and — more importantly for me — he knows how to forgive. He knows how to love.

My heart belongs to this wonderful man and his belongs to me! And today, my heart is 39 years old and still beating strong, faithful and true. Happy birthday, dear heart.

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No Flowers Please

It was a good day today. No heart-shaped cards or flowers or chocolate-covered cherries in candy boxes. No candlelit dinners or romantic music playing in the background. It was perfect.

I don’t know about you, but I do not care for the hype that the commercialization of occasions such as Valentine’s day invites. In previous years, going out for dinner on February 14 meant having to deal with traffic, parking in crowded lots, waiting in line and overpriced meals. Ugh. Who needs all that to be with the one they love?

This morning, being the man that he is, my husband gave me what I know to be proof of his true love: a cup of hot, steaming, fresh coffee. There is nothing I want more at 6:15 in the morning as I sleepily try to start my day with both eyes open than my caffeine fix, and my husband knows this. I am so blessed to have this man in my life.

The truth is we both forgot it was Valentine’s day. He called me up about ten minutes after having left for work to greet me belatedly — after having been reminded by a co-worker who rides with him in the morning. I was grateful for the reminder as it had slipped my mind. My six-year old daughter handed me a red lollipop with a small, heart-shaped card she had made. It was a great start to my morning.

It got even better when I had lunch with some girl friends. It was a long overdue get-together. There was a lot of laughter, a lot of listening and a lot of talking. I looked at each one of them earlier and was struck by how different we all were, and yet we shared the same spirit and outlook in life. We connect on a level of friendship where we look out for each other. It was certainly worth the drive to Toronto!

I thought it would be a restful and slow evening, but was reminded by my nine-year old son that it was their night to go to their chess club. Tonight turned out to be a fast dinner (thanks to whoever invented microwaveable rice cookers!) but not an unpleasant one. I looked around the table and was happy to be with my children, eating pot roast and hearing them tell stories. And they have so very many! So in a way, I suppose, you could say I had a quiet dinner. I was quiet, but my children weren’t — and I didn’t really mind it tonight. It was nice.

After hungrily eating dinner, my husband had to pick up the kids from their chess club. Before leaving, he said he just had to rush by Costco for something before coming home. I looked at him and knew what he was going to do.

“Please don’t get me any flowers. Really. I don’t want any.”

I knew he was feeling a bit guilty for not getting me a gift or card, but he shouldn’t have.

“I was so happy today,” I told him truthfully. “I did what I had to do, I was with people I wanted to be with, and we have a movie we can watch tonight. Please don’t get me flowers. That’s just too commercial.”

My sweet, tired but happy husband smiled. Today was indeed a great day.

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