I was scanning through my list of huggable heroes I want to write about and it occurred to me that the most inspirational person I know wasn’t on the list; Christine McNary, my wife. She sees things in me I’ve never seen but have always wanted to be true. She knows how to coax them to the surface. Here is how she does it:

Christine has helped me in these ways;

      • To talk – I don’t like to fight with anyone so I have a leave me the hell-alone mechanism that can erect a 1,500 mile-long Great Wall of China in about two minutes.  Christine has taught me- a writer and a public speaker- how to talk about and talk thru, but not talk around, concerns that matter most.
      • To listen- I simply cannot check out on a conversation with her. She just knows the nanosecond when I quit paying attention.
      • To be positive- Left on my own, I develop Eeyore-like characteristics of assuming bad things will happen to me because I deserve it.  I blame a religious upbringing for that attitude.
      • Her voice has become the strongest – I have voices in my head. No, they’re not the bad kind that will turn me into a mass murderer; they are negative things people have said to me through the years and my mind just likes to replay them and convince me they are true. It does this a lot.  But now I have her voice in my head telling me things about myself I’ve wanted to believe are true and she says she sees them. She’s telling me who I already am and holding my hand as I walk into my reality.
      • She makes me laugh- She recently asked me to name the top five memories of our time together and I automatically went to the memories of pull-over-to-the-side-of-the-road-and-hold-your-tummy funny things.  We laugh. A lot. It is good for our marriage.

People who have met me then meet her wonder when she’ll ever get her sight back.  As one friend says, “I’ve out-kicked my coverage.”  She is breathtakingly beautiful both on the inside and the outside; a rare combination in this world.

Because of my job, I’ve spent more time away from her in the last 8 months than I have with her. I recently was gone from home for 21 days. It is hard on my heart to be away from my best friend.

I’m a very blessed man. I not only get to hug my favorite hero, I get to snuggle with her, too.

And in that place, heaven comes to earth for just a little while.

(By the way, I took that photo of her myself- all natural light and not retouched at all!)