Two years ago when I exchanged “I do’s” with my husband, I did so knowing I was also committing to sharing our wedding anniversary with his birthday. It’s kismet because I can’t imagine celebrating us — without celebrating him. To say he is the rock of my life would be an understatement. I didn’t just marry the best man I know but a man who brings out the best in me. When I met Doug I was a wildly independent, stubborn workaholic who had soured on marriage and relationships in general. He might argue that I’m still stubborn, but no one would argue that I’m a better person because of him. He is incredibly funny, ridiculously patient and more supportive of anything and everything I do. He is selfless, caring and kind without a negative bone in his body. He would do anything for anyone and when it comes to our family, he does.
He is not only an amazing, giving father to his own children but to mine as well. He never tried to act like their father when Dave was alive and I think Dave would appreciate that he doesn’t try to act like it now that he’s gone. What he does do is provide a safe and loving place for us to call home. During our darkest days, he’s been our light. When Dave was in the hospital, Doug visited. He liked Dave and prayed right alongside us for the miracle we all so desperately wanted. He stayed up with me night after night, consoling me and guiding me in how to shepherd my children through grief when I was struggling to deal with my own. The morning of Dave’s memorial service, it was my husband who went to the church early to set up the tables with Dave’s memorabilia. He cried alongside us during the service, has taken great pride in the ways the kids and I are working to keep Dave’s memory alive. Not once has he questioned why we keep a picture of Dave on a shelf in our kitchen. When I told him I wanted to leave my well paying job to spend more time with the family he didn’t balk or call me crazy. Instead, he encouraged me to follow my heart and has supported me every step of the way. It takes a strong, confident and secure man to be all that – and he is. He is the wealthiest man I know – not because of anything he has – but because of everything he is. Doug, our family is infinitely better because of you and on this day we celebrate our marriage – it’s oh, so perfect, that we also celebrate your life – and the incredible joy you bring to ours. I love you!