Monday, October 27, 2014

My (Way) Better Half

It's been nine years or so since my older son's issues with depression and addiction started. For about seven of those years, my entire family experienced things we never signed up for.

The term "roller-coaster ride" is often used to describe what people go through when someone they love is addicted. That's because it's exactly what it feels like.

Things start off slow. Then all of a sudden you find yourself plummeting downhill at terrifying speeds. You get that sinking feeling in your stomach. You may even feel like you're going to throw up. You go through dangerous curves, thinking you might get thrown from the tracks. Then things slow down a bit. But the next thing you know you find yourself at the top of another death defying hill, looking down and wondering if you're going to make it to the end of the ride. Up and down. Up and down. Over and over again. It can be incredibly scary and you'd better hold on tight.

When we're scared, it always helps to be with someone else. Someone to comfort us. Someone to hold our hand. Someone to experience the fear with us. Someone to let us know that everything's going to be okay, even if there's a chance that it won't be.

I am so blessed that I have that "someone else" in my life. She is my rock, my guiding light, my best friend, and my (way) better half.

My wife and I met at work. Long story short: The copying machine on her floor was broken, so someone sent her down to my floor to use the copying machine that was right next to my desk. We met, I was smitten, I think she liked me, too, we were both dating other people, I left the company, we started dating...and the rest is history. On November 19th we'll celebrate our 26th anniversary.

I honestly don't know where I would be without my wife. When I look back on all the things we've been through together--especially the stuff with our older son--I often wonder if I could've survived any of it without her. I'm so lucky to have such a kind, understanding, compassionate, and loving person as my teammate in the game of life.

If there are such things as hearts of gold, my wife has one.

Knitting and crocheting are two of her passions, and she's so good at both. She creates beautiful hats, scarves, blankets, mittens, socks, etc. And what does my wife do with most of the things she makes? She donates them to charity.

Two of her favorite charities are Friends of Pine Ridge Reservation and Afghans for Afghans. Through those charities she sends her creations to impoverished Native Americans in South Dakota and people struggling in Afghanistan. I can only imagine how cherished they are when they are received by their new owners.

Early next month my wife will be hosting a Heroes in Recovery knitting event where a group of knitters will be making hats and scarves for residents of a local sober living house.

She also has a page on Facebook called "Handmade Hearts 4 Hope." On that page she posts photos of colorful little hearts she knits. They're sort of like worry stones. Or, as someone on Facebook once called them, "A hug in your hand." And, of course, she gives these hearts away to random people who need a little hope in their lives.

My wife is all about giving. Bringing happiness and hope to others is so important to her. I've tried for years to get her to open an Etsy shop so we could maybe make a little money off of her amazing talents. But she keeps putting it off because she'd rather give her things to people less fortunate than us. God bless her.

And if all that wasn't enough, she also introduced me to the writings of Anne Lamott.

When I met my wife, I met an angel. An incredible person who always has a positive outlook on life and stays calm, even when life throws its toughest challenges our way. Lucky for me, her positivity has been contagious over the years. She's helped me transform myself from a constantly stressed out Type A personality to someone who lives in the moment and doesn't sweat the small stuff anymore.

My wife is the best thing that's ever happened to me. And the world is a better place because of her.

Anne Lamott once wrote, "A good marriage is where both people feel like they're getting the better end of the deal." In my case, I know I'm getting the better end of the deal.


My rock and best friend (modeling a hat she made for our nephew).

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