One: Her Heart for Animals: My wife packs a 20-gauge shotgun in her car. That way, if she ever hits an animal on her travels and it’s suffering, she can put it out of its misery, pray, and then bury it. My wife hopes this does not happen, and though she hates to see animals suffer, if she has to, she will pull the trigger and bury the beast. She does this because there are more important things than how she feels. That right there is more than the reason why my wife’s family takes in broken animals—dogs with three legs, cats with one eye and twelve toes—that’s what makes her a great wife and mother: My wife is a selfless woman.
Two: She’s Still the One I Try For: After you’ve been together for a while, you have so much day-to-day stuff in common that it can be hard to talk about new things: Q. “What did you do today?” A. “Work” and/or “You were there.” But still, when I drive home, I think on what to talk to my wife about. Doesn’t matter if it’s stupid; I still want to connect with her. Don’t get me wrong, some days it’s easy: Sit down with her and a couple of hours later the conversation has reminded me why she’s my best friend. Other days though, it takes more work. Last night I was telling her about how when people get shot, the reason why they fall over is not because of the force of the bullet, but because of what they’ve seen on TV. (Dudes who are plastered have been known to run around guns blazing for fifteen minutes because they didn’t know that fatal shot to the heart was supposed to put them down five minutes after the bullet struck the beat.) There’s no great insight to that fact; I just want her to know me a little bit more. My wife is a woman you want to have know you.
Three: She Fights Fair: I figured out when I was younger that I could be with just about anyone when things are going great, but when you strip away all the activities, all the sweeping emotion and you’re having a period when you’re fighting constantly, then what? My wife’s idea of a good date is grabbing takeaway and watching a show. It’s not about some grand activity we experience within the vicinity of one another; it’s just shutting up and enjoying each other’s company. And when we butt heads, she doesn’t drag out past botches (and I’ve got some good ones), calls me out when I’m unfair and holds herself to the same standards. She says she does this because she believes in me. She says if I wasn’t worth it, she’d put up with all kinds of garbage from me, but since she knows who I am, who I could be, she holds me to a higher standard. Sure, there are times when you’re both just avoiding the shrapnel, but I always come out wishing we’d sorted things through hours ago. My wife is a woman who still looks out for your best, even when she doesn’t much like you at the present time.
Four: She Smashes Through the Muck and Mire of Philosophy and Situational Ethics to Rip Out the Heart of the Matter, Spike the Bloody Organ to the Floor and Says, Calm as Can Be, “Here’s the Truth”: (Eh, so much for short and punchy titles.) Where I’m willing to explore the vast dynamics of a situation, sometimes to a fault, my wife is able to cut through the complexities to bottom-line the truth. It’s that type of steadfastness that strengthens me to make hard decisions. My wife is a strong backbone that will keep you upright and on your feet.
Five: She’s Still My Proverbs 31 Bride: Back when we were dating, I read Proverbs 31—written by a mother to her son, the king, about what he should look for in a wife—to see how she measured up. I wondered how I would compliment her if she had everything in the list save one thing, but she nailed every part. She gets up in the night for her kids, works hard, is wise with her money, takes care of our home, cares for the poor, is clothed with strength and dignity, is wise and faithful, etc. You pick a scripture from that chapter and I’ll tell you how she meets it. I was so excited then that I had to lift the phone and tell her right away. I’m so excited now that I wanted to tell you here: We have our high periods and low periods, nice nights and quick spats, but at the core of who she is, my wife is relentlessly wonderful.
Happy birthday (redux), love. Thanks for keeping a list of five things I love about you severely limited.
You are of noble character; I have full confidence in you.