Wednesday, December 02, 2009

What I'm Thankful For:
Lori, My Brilliant Wife

I know this is a little late, but we've been through a lot over the past few years and, late or not, I wanted to finally say what I've always meant to say. Besides, Thanksgiving gets the short end of the stick every year anyway. Nowadays, we seem to, as a culture, go immediately from trick-or-treating to stuffing stockings. Thanksgiving is important. It should not be forgotten.

So I'm going to take just a moment to give thanks for Lori. As a writer, the best way I know how to do this is with words.

I used the term "brilliant" in the headline and that was not by accident. The word "brilliant" has many different meanings. And they all apply to Lori. Shall we explore them?

1 (of light) very bright and radiant.
(of a color) brightly and intensely vivid.

Lori is definately bright. She's whip-smart and not much gets past her. She was a first-grade teacher for seven years and a substitute teacher before (and after) that. Now she's Melody's teacher at home and boy does she have her work cut out for her. Melody herself is a brilliant little handful!

Lori is also radiant. Her smile is like a sunrise and her eyes gleam, especially when she's locked onto something that she wants. Her strong and vivid personality, often hidden to others because she's somewhat shy, is a primary reason we have acheived, as a family, as much as we have in the six short years since we've been married. I think vivid could also be used to describe the scope of Lori's emotions. She feels things strongly... passionately. When she's happy, she's joyful. When she's sorrowful, she's in, to quote Anne Shirley, "the depths of despair." She possesses an artistic temperment which leads me to the next definition for "brilliant."

2 (of light) outstanding; impressive.

Lori impressed me the first time we met. She's smart, savvy and classy. Just being seen next to her bumps me up the social ladder by at least two rungs (she'd probably say three). She's smarter than the average girl, which might intimidate some guys. She's also taller than the average girl, especially in heels or boots. I never wanted to date someone who could kick my butt. And while I don't think Lori really could, I don't think I'd ever want to give her a run for her money. She's like Wonder Woman and she's got the sexy legs to prove it.

As a song writer, Lori continues to impress me. While I'm sort of the de facto wordsmith of the family, providing my fair share of lyrics to our songs, Lori's lyrics are real and touch preciesely where they need to. Sometimes she (wisely) asks for my help with the lyrics. Another place she impresses. Guys never ask for help. But Lori truly collaborates with me. Of course, her knowledge of music far surpasses mine. Anything I write in the realm of musical notes will be rudimentary. While I can put down broad-stroke musical phrases, Lori's chords are what shade the music. Every time I think I know where she's going to go, she surprises me and pulls something else out of her magic bag of tricks.

Brit., informal. very good, excellent or marvelous

But it's her vocal performances that are truly marvelous. Lori, a fan of everything from rap to classic rock to brit pop to black gospel can belt it out like the best of them. She has a great range and a strong and solid delivery. Her passion shines through when she's really giving it her all. And, when she's had a good night's sleep, I'd put her pipes up there with Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey or Christina Aguleria. I'm not joking when I say she's our band's lead singer. For anyone else in the group, myself included, to claim that title would be ridiculous.

Perhaps most impressive and marvelous of all is that Lori agreed to be my wife. She consented to go on this journey called life with me. We didn't always know where it would take us or what we'd go through. But we're doing it together. She's the sounding board for all my novels and short stories. Nonfiction too. She's the believer in my dreams and the dreamer of many herself. And, even though I don't always agree, I've learned to always listen to her. She has unparallelled insight. She sees the glass as half-full when I'm often tempted to turn the thing over and dump out the paltry contents.

She puts brightness and sparkle into each of my days.

If that doesn't describe brilliance, then I don't know what does.

Thank you, God, for my brilliant wife.

And thank you, Lori, for sticking with me.

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