Friday, December 19, 2008

Me being me

My wife is incredibly smart and I am proud of her. In my last post I mentioned that she just graduated with her MBA but I didn't give it the attention it deserved. This was no easy accomplishment, but nothing in her life has ever been easy.

After graduating High School she was accepted at Purdue and was pursuing a degree in Biology with hopes of going to medical school after that. During her first year she fell out of her loft and hit her head on the back of a chair resulting in a Basilar skull fraction. This caused her to have to drop out of school and return home putting her dreams on hold. I was in the Air Force at the time, stationed in Denver, and we were still "dating" even though we were 2000 miles apart. After she recovered somewhat she came out to Denver to see me and I proposed. I figured I'd take advantage of her wounded state and maybe have a chance. She said yes.

We were married in February of 1992 and immediately left for Wichita Kansas which was my next assignment. She still had dreams of finishing her degree so she enrolled at Wichita State University and began pursuing an engineering degree. I was working night shift and trying to go to school during the day at the same time so we barely saw each other during those years. She did everything on her own, I did nothing more than get in the way and cause her grief. Where I changed majors ever semester, she was steadfast in her desire. I've always admired her for that ability to make a decision and stick with it. As you guys know, I blow with the wind in most things. 

We spent 2 years in Wichita before I got orders to Missouri. This made it even harder for her. There were no engineering schools near where we were moving. Oh yea, and we found out she was pregnant for our first son. In order to keep her on track she stayed in Wichita for a few months to finish the semester while I moved to Missouri. She was 3-4 months pregnant, living alone, and going to school with no help from me. I couldn't have done it but she did. 

Once she moved to Missouri she enrolled at Mizzou (Go Tigers) which meant driving 1 hour each way to school everyday. Again, once she gets on a dream, nothing gets in her way. She was driving an hour to school each day while pregnant. She was also entering some of the tough engineering classes which meant a lot of studying. I was working nights again and basically in the way. I'm good at that. 

Our first son was born in March of 1995 and, of course, everything changed. My wife now had to do everything she was doing before and take care of a baby. She did it and never wavered from her goals. I was on my 10th different major and working nights. Looking back, I was basically a worthless person during this time. I was barely able to take care of myself let alone my son. My wife did it all. 

She graduated with a Mechanical Engineering degree about a year later and immediately went to work. She excelled from the beginning. She was working her way up the ladder and being a mom. With her salary we were able to buy our first house. I was still working nights and trying to go to school but I was really floundering. I had no idea what I wanted to do and again was basically a waste of oxygen during this time. 

My enlistment in the Air Force was coming to an end and I was offered a job with a defense contractor in New York. I really wanted to take it and my wife gave in so we moved again. She applied at the same company and got a job too so we were working at the same place. We packed everything in a U-haul and, with my mom's help, moved across the country in 2 days. I don't think my wife ever liked it in New York but she immediately climbed the ladder at our new company and was working for a division president very quickly. I supposed we thought this was too easy for her so she got pregnant again around this time. She was handling multi-million dollar contracts with my youngest son pounding on her bladder constantly. Our oldest was entering kindergarten too so things were busy. I was working and trying to finish my degree which, at this point, was any degree I could get. 

My little one was born in New York and had a cleft lip. This was scary for me but my wife handled it great and got all the surgeries scheduled and arranged. All this while still working at a high pressure job that required many hours of overtime. 

Eventually we both got tired of living in New York and wanted to return to Missouri. My wife was offered a job as the base planner for the Air Force base were I was stationed before. I worked out a job on base there too so we moved again. Back along the same route we had traveled 4 year before. My wife took over the base and began dealing with congressmen and high level pentagon officials. She was in charge of millions of dollars of infrastructure building projects. She was great at it. I, on the other hand, was being deployed all over the world for months at a time. She was left to handle a house with 10 acres, 2 boys, and a high pressure job. I was no help at all (see a trend here??) since I was gone. She was also working on her engineering certificate so she was studying again. 

Within a few years I was offered a job with my old company down here in Oklahoma. It was a great opportunity for me but we'd have to move again. The job paid enough though that she wouldn't have to work. She had always talked about a masters degree and this would allow her to get it so we moved....again. 2 years later she graduated with a 4.0 and was voted by her instructors as the outstanding MBA student.

This was supposed to be a quick post about how hard my wife has had to work for everything she's achieved. I ran on I guess but I hope you guys get the point. She has worked for everything she's achieved with very little help from me or anyone else. She has a unique ability to stay focused on a goal while I was (and still am) blowing with the prevailing wind. When I said before that I keep her grounded, I meant that I am a boat anchor on her potential but nothing could ever stop her.

Thanks for listening


Calyx Meredith said...

Your wife sounds like Superwoman! It's great that you took the time to publicly appreciate how hard she's worked. I bet you guys make a great team (even though you down play your role!) Peace and holiday blessings to you and your family, my friend!

Sarah said...

Your wife truly is amazing! Wowza, we should all look to her for some inspiration when we get tired and down. You are a lucky man to have such a fantastic, hardworking, giving womans! And she quite lucky to have such a giving, hardworking, and fantastic husband. You don't give yourself enough credit, my friend.

Hope you and your family is doing well, and little one is healing well. Is he still in the wheelchair?

Merry Christmas!

Go Jayhawks! :P

Southbay Girl said...

your wife is a strong woman and mom!!! Good for her!!! Awesome! I commend her!!! But I don't think you're a boat anchor-it takes a strong man to live and be a partner to a strong woman! Not all men are capable!!

RBR said...

Wonderful tribute to a wonderful woman. I agree with Southbay Girl, strong women are made stronger by their partners.

I hope you and yours are having a fantastic holiday season! *smooches*