Today is my wife Teresa's birthday. The cake is baked and frosted, and the presents are ready. Well, almost ready.
There is still one gift I want to give her: public recognition of just how important she is in my life. Even after 17 years, of marriage, I still have trouble saying what I think or how I feel without stumbling over my words or messing it up somehow. So I'll have to say it here.
For 17 years, Teresa has been my rudder, struggling to give me balance and to help me find direction. She has given me support and advice when I needed it and a swift kick in the rear when I deserved it.
I haven't made things easy for her. The way I grew up led me to close off from people around and taught me to fear feeling. I have struggled to overcome and let go of that past and finally feel I am gaining the upper hand in that battle. I am likely not yet where she would like me to be or where she deserves me to be, but I would not have come this far without her.
To Teresa, I say thank you for being behind me and for standing beside me, for pushing me when I've needed it, and for helping get back up whenever I stumble. Our life together has taken some twists and turns along the way, but I am glad we have shared this journey together. I love you. Happy Birthday!