I Married My Hero

It’s true. I married my hero.

She wasn’t always my hero. She hasn’t always been my best friend either. But she’s my hero now. And my best friend too.

If you knew Debbie like I do, she’d probably be your hero. She’d probably be the best kind of friend you knew too.

What is it about her that makes her my hero? Many things. Her drive is amazing. Watching her work has helped me develop quite the work ethic too.

She routinely devours the meatiest of books and then proceeds to share the most detailed regurgitation of them, as if she was the author HERSELF. She is superhuman if you ask me! Watching her read has helped me become quite the reader too.

She’s been our daughters’ teacher at home since before they started kindergarten. Our girls are both in high school now and they are amazing people because of her. They aren’t perfect, that’s not the point. Neither is she.

The point is that despite all of these wonderful things she has shown me, the superhuman qualities she possesses that inspire me, there’s one trait that stands out and humbles me most.

As much as my work habits have improved over the years, I still am no match for her.

As much as I’ve increased my reading volume over the years, I still have a lot of catching up to do.

As much as I’ve honed my teaching craft over the years, I’m still nowhere near the master teacher she is (oh, I neglected to mention she’s also been a first grade teacher these last 20 years, as well). She’s marvelous in so many ways.

I still remember the day I fell in love with her. She had on a red shirt, gold earrings, and had the cutest of pixie cuts. Even more than her beauty, there was something else about her that drew me in. It’s the same thing about her that draws me in again today.

Now that I think about it, I’ll bet it’s what fuels her drive. Yes. It’s got to be it! It’s what makes her superhuman, I think.

Compassion for people.

My wife, Debbie, has compassion for people. It’s why she can’t sleep many nights. It disguises itself as worry, but it’s not. It sometimes looks like frustration and impatience, but I know the truth. It’s compassion for people. She goes through her days being led by her love for people.

This humbles me greatly and is the superhuman quality I long to have most.

It’s like I’m back in the moment over 30 years ago when I first realized this about her. I wish I had that same kind of compassion for people.

Don’t get me wrong, I try. I sometimes feel like I’m even getting pretty good at serving others, but it’s not the same.

For me, the greatest trait of any hero is the unending willingness to put others first. And I think this trait is instigated by having compassion for people. The kind of compassion that leads to action. The kind of compassion that leads to serving others.

My hope is that we all long to love others.

May we all be blessed with the desire, the compassion that leads to loving people.

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