It's not often that we take the time to praise the people closest to us. Especially not out loud for the world to see. I am guilty of taking some of the most important people in my life for granted. But I am here to change that. I'm here to scream at the top of my lungs about the man I'm lucky enough to have as a main character in my life journey. He is the father to my three amazing girls, the guy who convinced me that a big dog was a necessity, and he's my rock-n-roller Rock of Gibraltar.
Screech - but let's back up a little. We've been together for 25 years and our 22nd wedding anniversary is just around the corner. In those years there were definitely moments (okay, maybe years) where he drove me absolutely crazy. He still does. But it's about the test of time and the fact that we're in this together, for better or worse, richer or poorer, and definitely in sickness and in health. I'll have more on that in a moment. Let me explain the ways my husband rocks:
He's seen me at my worst and has stood by me: I've had my full-on "witchy" moments. Early in our marriage we had 3 kids in 6 years and both of us had demanding full-time jobs including a stint overseas. Mornings and evenings were hectic to say the least. Those years were probably some of my most frazzled. And yet we got through them and Doug always listened to me rant and rave and got me through those early years.
He's my stand up comic: While he's not as rich as Jerry Seinfeld he could definitely go toe-to-toe with him in the humor department. He doesn't have a monolog that he presents to a wide audience. But I am his captive audience and when the chips are down he brings me right back up, laughing and guffawing and forgetting about whatever it was that made me blue.
He's my warm blanket: All wives and life partners can relate to this. One of you typically runs hot while the other runs cold - under the sheets at night. But even when my feet were icy cold he let me snuggle and thaw my two feet of ice against his hairy legs.
He's my biggest advocate: In 2007 I had the chance to change my life course. I had been with one company for many years when they offered the chance to take a nice voluntary package. But this opportunity came at the exact same time that my husband was beginning a job with a start up. It was a risky proposition since my income provided a steady stream. Giving it up meant the weight of responsibility would fall on my husband's shoulders. But without a nanosecond of hesitation he told me to take that leap and pursue something I was passionate about. He hasn't stopped being my biggest cheerleader.
He's an involved dad: Doug has always been a hands-on dad. He is unlike my own dad who fathered from a distant. With all three of our girls he was a diaper-changer, storyteller, soccer-coaching dad. He took them to their first rock concert and is proud to say he's the first man to take them to Paris. He's a great role model because he is actively involved.
His cup runneth over: If there's a second to squeeze out of time then Doug is the man to catch it. The entire time I've known Doug he epitomizes "Carpe Diem." It must be in his DNA because every cell in his body savors every second. When Doug was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009 it only served to underscore how precious time is. When I mentioned above "for better or worse, in sickness and in health" our marriage vows were put to the test. We have survived and we came out on top.
He has a mission statement: How many people do you know who have a personal mission statement? Because of Doug I developed one. Here is his mission statement: To have the daily discipline to always strive to find the good in everything and, the patience to keep looking for it in everyone I meet, until I do.
He's still rocking: At the age of 49 Doug decided to take up the guitar. He played sporadically as a college student but once we got married and our kids filled every potential blank moment his guitar collected dust in the attic. The dream of learning how to play never fell off his bucket list. For his 50th birthday I surprised him with his dream guitar and he's been strumming on a daily basis. He's proof that there's always time to learn something new. He reignited that musical passion in our daughters.
Our married life has had almost as many ups-and-downs as the streets of San Francisco. My husband drives me bonkers at times. But one thing is for sure: I am crazier about him than when we first met 25 years ago. The depth of our love would not be as great had we not experienced some low times. But we never gave up on each other or our marriage. And if we're lucky we'll be rocking in our chairs when he's 100 years old and he'll still be strumming his guitar and making me laugh out loud.
Tina Case is a Yahoo! Shine Parenting Guru. She is the wife of a rockin' husband and the mother of 3 daughters who read a lot, laugh a lot and rock out with their guitars. She also blogs at Parent Grapevine and Moms Who Click.