A Love Letter to My Wife:
Sheryl, this is the 39th Valentine’s Day we have spent together. The first we were plotting out marriage and the remaining 38 we have been married. I am more in love with you today than ever. You have shared in and given me everything. You have stood with me, never behind me, in every pursuit of the last 39 years. You have loved me when I did not deserve it, comforted me when I needed it, and pushed me when I had to have it.
As you recall 39 years ago I asked you to marry me and I gave you that little ring we picked out. Shortly after you said yes I tried to talk you out of the foolishness of marrying a person with diabetes. You said you would always love me and would be beside me. I thought it foolish and you said no we could be married and overcome that disease. You were right, and for 39 years you have fought with me every step of the way.
You were there with the open heart surgery, the new hip, and the ups and downs of diabetes. The late night fears and the afternoon lows. Through each you have loved me so much and I am so glad. There is no way I would have made it this far without you. The words thank you can never express how I feel about what you have done for me.
Fifteen years ago we had the second disease join our marriage, rheumatoid arthritis. I was so upset to think that you might not be willing to deal with another ailment. I need not have worried. You assured me we could deal with this and we would find a path to a better place. It was so difficult. We had to face some terrible reality. We had to downsize our home, prepare for the day I might not work, deal with the pain and the drugs and new reality of life with another chronic disease. If ever there was a time you should have said enough it was then, but you didn’t throw in the towel instead you loved me and held me and said we can find a way.
When my hands stopped working and it seemed like nothing was going right you loved me. When my chest hurt and we were told of the needed surgery you stayed with me. When my hip was out of commission and I hated that rehab place you rescued me. And when I failed to love me you did.
We celebrated along the way as well. Two sons I love more than life itself. It is your kindness that helped them and I, be the men we are. It is your love that gave us balance through all those years of testosterone in our house. It is your kindness that balanced our family and your patience that gave us the rudder to make it from one place to another.
You also helped me steer a course to the end of my career which I miss so much. What woman could be expected to stay with a man with no job and no chance of having one? If ever there was a reason to turn away, the day I had to leave work was that day and I did it with your support and understanding. A lessor person would have tossed in the towel, yet you stayed and loved me and told me I and we would be ok. We are.
More than I could have ever imagined 39 years ago you have made me a better man. Your love for me and in spite of me is my inspiration. Everything I do, everything I am, and everything I might be is because of your love.
I love you Sheryl.