For many the title of this post brings to mind the Bette Midler song from the sentimental movie, "Beaches". For my purposes I would like it to serve as a metaphor referring to someone who makes your life better.
Today is a milestone birthday for, my wife, Paula. Now out of respect I won't mention which birthday it is. But I will tell you it's the same one I celebrated last September.
I got her some gifts and gave her some flowers this evening. But anything I can do for her on this special day pales in comparison to the gift she gave me on my last birthday: A trip to Disney World.
But specific gifts for specific birthdays is not what this post is about. It's about the intangable gifts Paula has given me since I moved to Kentucky 12 years ago.
As I was preparing to write this post I started thnking about all the things I've done and places I've been in our 9 years of marriage. Places and things I would never have ever had the means, courage, or support to do without Paula as "the wind beneath the wings".
I could write a book about all the things I've acomplished since 2002 (some would say that I already have) that are directly the result of God working in my life and Paula's support and belief in me. There are just too many to write about in this single post.
Of course the life changing experience of having weight loss surgery and subsequent improvement in the quality of my life rests directly on her shoulders. Again, it was God changing my heart that led me to the place that I was able to follow Paula's lead and make the decison to committ to improving my life.
I never would have done it if she hadn't agreed to "jump" with me. She actually went first. Her determination and pursuit of the ways to make our surgeries the starting point for transforming our bodies, our lives and our marriage is the greatest gift anyone has ever or could ever give me. As of today together we have lost over 190 pounds and our lives are so much better for it.
While it's #1 on the list Paula's gift of helping me succeed after weight loss surgey is just one of hundreds of things I could mention. There's not one thing I've done in my life over the past 12 years that is not directly or indirectly the result of the support of the Love of My Life.
I guess in addtion to saying she's the "wind beneath my wings" Paula has "raised me up" to a level of life that I would have never ever risen to on my own. She is truly the great woman behind this man.
Perhaps this may seem a bit selfish to write a post about the effect my wife has had on my life on her birthday. But I love her for much more than that. She is a loving, giving, woman who has remained strong inspite of all the things life has brought her way. She has raised two adult sons who are married and gainfully employed, and own their own homes. She did this for the most part as a single parent. By today's standards that amazing.
She managed to provide a place to live and cared for her grandmother and her father in the last years of their lives. She's the better half of, what I consider to be, a successful 9 year marriage. She's managed to do all of this while succeeding in very demanding job for more than 24 years. She's a passoinate, creative, spiritual woman who loves to cook and is very good at it.
Those are just a few of the countless reasons I passionately love my wife. I would like to tell her through this post that I don't see this birthday as a anything but a "mile marker" on her way, our way, down the road to the best that God has planned for her life and our future.
Since I've mentioned a couple of song titles in this post perhaps it's only fitting that I conclude this "love letter" to the birthday girl with a couple more."What a difference you've made in my life", Paula. "You Are the Love Of My Life". "You're Still the One" and I love you Paula Kaye Havens, "Always & Forever".