Perhaps there is no more fitting way to close this series than with a post about my wife, April. She
loves me like no one has before, and like no one ever will. Over the past 14, almost 15 years, we’ve
undergone our ups and downs, like any couple does. Yet with all we’ve been through together,
she’s never wavered in her longterm commitment to our marriage and our family.
She and I met in college. Yeah, we’re one of those cheesy romance stories: met through friends,
hung out together for a while, talked about going on dates, but never actually did. Might not have,
except that she came home from a Thanksgiving break talking about this guy she’d gone out with.
I sprang into action. I asked her out on a real date, no more accidental Chinese food runs. So, we
settled on a night out in Helen, GA, a quaint little Bavarian-esque town not too far away.
Accordion polka serenaded us as we ate trout and pretended it wasn’t all weird and awkward.
Though we’d been flirting-friends for a while, we’d never pursued each other further. I wasn’t sure
if we could make the whole boyfriend/girlfriend thing work. But we did. For a while. Things nearly
got derailed because she was almost done with her senior year and, with no family close, didn’t
expect to stay around after graduation. She wasn’t sure that she really wanted to get involved in a
relationship with me, or anyone for that matter.
In a booth at the local Chick-Fil-A, I looked deep into her eyes and told her, “I’d rather spend the
next few months with you, than the rest of my life wondering what might have been.” True story.
That did it. Cheesy or not, she decided to roll the dice on us. She then tried to figure out when and
how she was going to tell her parents that she wouldn’t be moving back home. I still don’t know
exactly what she ended up telling them, but the result was that she stayed after graduation.
She stayed for us. That would become a recurring theme in our relationship. She’s stayed despite
all my insecurities, moods, and foibles. She’s stayed through two advanced degrees. She’s
cared for me and for our kids when I was unable to care back. She is the most selfless person I
know and I’m thankful every day for her. If you are thankful for me, be thankful also for her.
I could go on and on about her virtues and my vices. Eventually you’d get bored. But I wouldn’t.
Learning to let myself be loved by her has shaped me in so many surprising ways. I’m not as hard
on myself has I have been in the past. I’ve learned to let go of my failures. At times, when on the
verge of giving up on this pursuit or that endeavor, April has been a point of stability, bringing
equilibrium back to the situation. She always reminds me that things aren’t as dire as they seem.
Many times, I’m reminded of just how fortunate I am. Things weren’t always rosy. Our first few
years of marriage were tough. Each of us thought about leaving, but we stayed and worked on it.
Although we still have our arguments, we also show each other grace. That’s something that
people often comment on. We’re in our mid-thirties, but we get asked for advice on marriage and
rearing kids like we were an old couple. Yeah, life with April is good. Very good. Regardless of
if you are married or not, I hope that you one day have someone in your life who can love you a
lot like my wife loves me. You’ll be a better and richer person for it. I love you, Prell!