Today is a very special day at our house because it’s Miss Terry’s birthday. Try as I might, I have never been able to figure out what this beautiful, intelligent woman sees in me or why she chooses to spend her life with me. But I am so happy she does. We all know she could do a lot better.
Terry is rather shy until you get to know her, but once she is comfortable with someone you could not ask for a nicer, more loyal, giving, and honest friend who will stick with you through the bad times as well as the good. I have seen her sit at a friend’s deathbed and comfort them as they make their passage, and hold their grieving family members as they cry.
She is also the most courageous person I have ever known. When Terry was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and told she had six weeks to live, she didn’t collapse and feel sorry for herself like some people might. Nor did she give up and accept her diagnosis. She fired that doctor and found one who was as committed to saving her life as she was to fighting.
I have known some brave people in my life. True heroes. Soldiers who stood their ground in the face of overwhelming odds while everybody around them turned and ran. Police officers who take on the dirty, dangerous jobs the rest of society doesn’t want to deal with. But never in my time on this earth have I seen anyone with the courage of my beloved wife as she faced this terrible challenge. The first words out of Terry’s lips after hearing her diagnosis were “I’m going to beat this. We’ve got too much left to do.”
With that steadfast courage, and with the grace and poise with which she lives every other aspect of her life, Terry set her goal on a complete recovery. It was the roughest road we’ve ever traveled together. Never have I felt so impotent as I did having to watch my darling suffer through the rigors of radiation and chemotherapy, the nausea, the pain, the weight loss, and not being able to do anything to help her. More than once I begged God to take me if one of us had to go. But the marvels of modern medicine and the power of prayer combined to bring us through our terrible journey, and 21 years later the cancer is gone and she is still by my side.
She did not give birth to my son and daughter and she didn’t come into their lives until Tiffany was 16 and Travis was 21, but to both of them, she has been Mom from the very first day, and always will be.
For the last two months I’ve been asking Terry what she wants for her birthday, but she always tells me she has everything she needs. I respond that it’s not about what she needs, it’s about what she wants. But she won’t tell me, darn it. She’s not one for flowers or jewelry, and while I know she needs a new computer, that’s kind of a personal choice and she hasn’t settled on what she wants yet. She doesn’t do any gaming or video editing or things like that, and Jim and Chris Guld from Geeks on Tour recommended a Chromebook, but she’s not sold on that idea. She’s been talking about a Surface Pro, but again, she hasn’t decided what she wants.
I did at least convince her to let me take her out for a nice dinner today, and I do believe seafood is on the agenda, possibly at Aunt Catfish on the River in Port Orange, which is one of her favorites. Aside from that, I’m at a loss.
There was a time when I could make her happy by taking her to Lowe’s or Home Depot and letting her run amuck through the tool department back when we were building our bus conversion. But she said she was hanging up her tool belt when we bought our house.
I guess I should be grateful she’s not a woman who wants the newest and best of everything and can wear out a credit card in a matter of months. Actually, that’s me. Terry is the practical and frugal one in our house.
Happy birthday, baby. Words cannot express how much I love you with all of my being. If we have to grow old, I am so very grateful we get to do it together.
Thought For The Day – A good marriage is one where each partner suspects they got the better deal.