It occurs to me that I have been blogging here for a little more than three years. We have covered a lot of topics, from politics to my ongoing struggles with a mental illness. I have posted humorous things and somber things. I have posted Pro Tips for aspiring candidates and explored my hometown’s recent economic revival. I have written about solid waste and about the effects of herring on lobsters.
That’s a pretty diverse list of subject matter, don’t you think?
But it also occurs to me that there in one subject that is too often left in the shadows.
Sure, I talk about my wife on these pages, but it’s usually as a passing reference point or to highlight her battle against multiple sclerosis as a fundraising tool for the annual MS Walk in York County.
But today, for a few different reasons, I want to talk more publicly about the woman who changed my life. The woman who is my best friend and my strongest ally.
When I first met Laura, she was running for a seat on the Old Orchard Beach School Board. I was the editor of the local newspaper, and thus I offered my readers endorsements of candidates. I did not endorse Laura. I mistakenly thought she was running for a seat held by an accomplished incumbent.
Laura sent me an e-mail just a couple of days after my endorsements were published. She pointed out the mistake, which I did not take so well.
For whatever reasons, we continued an e-mail exchange that was almost instantly flirtatious. She did not win her election, and we had our first date a few days later – – on a cold November afternoon that I will never forget.
I was smitten, but I was also impressed by her strength and courage. She was a single mother, raising two boys without any support from their father. She worked long hours in one of the most stressful jobs you can imagine: a social worker for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services in the office of Child and Family Services.
She bought her own modest home about a year before she met me. We dated several weeks before she would let me meet her children.
She is an awesome mother who would take her young boys frog hunting in the spring. She has gone skydiving and has never met a rollercoaster she did not like. Unlike me, she is a risk taker, always ready for the next adventure.
She is spontaneous and her laugh is more like a howl that consumes her entire body. She’s not into nouveaux cuisine or the latest fashion trends. Her favorite band is whatever is playing on the radio at that time.
She is down-to-earth and wears her heart on her sleeve. There is no pretense with Laura. What you see is what you get.
She is the consummate professional and has a hard time separating her emotions from the strain of her job. She loves the kids she works with almost as much as she loves her own.
She knows a thing or two about friendships. If you become friends with Laura, it is a life-long affair. She and her best friend have known each other since their freshman year in high school.
Laura is generous to a fault. She always wants to help, to give to others, to make others smile and feel loved.
Her chocolate cheesecake is world-famous (or soon will be).
She volunteers in the community and gets involved with causes left and right. She currently serves on the City Council’s Policy Committee and served two terms on the local school board. In her first election, she got more votes than any other candidate on the ballots, including the mayor and at-large city councilors.
Laura snores and will sometimes leave wet towels on the floor; so I suppose she is not perfect.
I often wondered why she married me. It wasn’t money. I had none. It was not for my good looks. I am bald and overweight.
I suppose it doesn’t matter why she married me. What does matter, however, is that she married me.
So, when all else fails, I have something pretty special in my corner. And for that – – I am eternally grateful.
A short video montage: