I Never Wonder

I will be forever grateful for the way my wife has sacrificed so much for me, has forgiven so much of me, and continues to give so much to me. Over the years, she has withstood more than any wife should, but she has withstood everything and has remained stronger than anyone I’ve ever met. But here’s the thing: I never wonder how she does it. Of the few things I know for sure in life, this is one of them; I never wonder how my wife could be such a strong and loving person.

She got it from her mother.

On October 8, 2001, Nicole’s mother Lynette died of breast cancer.

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At the time of her diagnosis, Nicole’s mom was pregnant with her little brother, Nikolas. The doctors told her repeatedly that she would have a better chance of beating the cancer and recovering if she either terminated the pregnancy or gave birth to Nikolas prematurely (which presented a significant risk to him). But either way, she refused and elected to take her pregnancy to its full term, giving birth to a healthy baby.

However, as the doctors predicted, the pregnancy and birth took its toll on Nicole’s mom, and she was not able to recover, passing away from breast cancer on October 8, 2001 at the age of 44 — sixteen years ago today.

Nicole’s mother was willing to sacrifice everything — literally everything — for someone she loved dearly. Her love was unconditional, unwavering, and unbreakable; just like Nicole’s.

I met Nicole in 2003, so I never had the privilege of meeting her mother. However, in many ways, I feel like I have. No human being possesses the type of character and integrity Nicole has without being taught by someone along the way, raised by someone with an equal or greater amount of character. I like to think that the best parts of Nicole — as a wife, as a mother, and as a person — are the parts of her mother that live on in her.

This morning, Nicole showed me her daily Bible verse calendar for today, the anniversary of her mother’s passing:

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Nicole’s mom literally sacrificed her life so that her son could be born healthy; he was. She could have taken several actions which would have been better for her, but she decided the life of her child was more important than her own. This is the “greater love” to which this scripture refers.

Nicole is the amazing woman she is because of the amazing mother she had. And now, as a wife and mother herself, she embodies every positive quality her mother bestowed upon her. Not a day goes by when I wish I couldn’t thank Lynette for making Nicole into the amazing woman she has become. If not for the character and love she showed Nicole, I perhaps would not still be married. But because Nicole’s mother showed her the true meaning of love, sacrifice, forgiveness, and character, Nicole and I still have an amazing marriage. I will never credit myself for the survival of my marriage; I credit Nicole, and by extension, her mother. My marriage survived because of my wife’s amazing sense of character, and she was taught that character by her mother, Lynette.

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