It’s been said that the most important decision you can make in life is who you choose to marry. And that couldn’t be more accurate. I made the best decision of my life by marrying my very best friend, Mike. I give thanks for Mike every day, but especially today, May 29th, his birthday. Today I celebrate the man I believe God created just for me.
We met twenty-three years ago at our beloved alma mater, Hampton University (“Shout out Hamptonians! Rock the blue & white!”). Mike and I were neighbors in the apartment complex where we both lived. On the day we met I was bummed; I’d lost the election for Sophomore Class President, but when our mutual friend introduced us, Mike greeted me with a hearty, “I voted for you!”
And every day since, we’ve been voting for each other.
Mike and I struck up a fast friendship that always felt as if it had more history than it actually did because of the ease with which we related to each other, and the loads of silly fun together we had along with our close knit group of friends. Because we shared the same major, Mike and I studied together–well, I studied because I had to and Mike, well, he regularly distracted our study groups with shenanigans until he passed out on the couch while the rest of us had to pull all-nighters to get a lower grade than he would get–every time! URGH! But best of all, Mike and I talked. About everything. How we grew up; about our families; our past and present relationships; our goals and what we wanted in life. We learned each other’s stories and cherished them in our hearts, and we became the caretakers of the other’s soul.
Fast forward to a few years after college graduation. We had a mutual epiphany: there was more in store for us than just friendship. On that day, we decided that we were going all the way together–no turning back, no risking our friendship for a romantic relationship, but using our friendship as the anchor and foundation for our relationship.
We’ve been married almost fifteen years and have two beautiful sons who are the center of our hearts and lives. Mike and I are truly blessed.
Today as I give thanks to God for Mike, I am especially grateful that we can share our most important role together: parents. Parenting is the hardest job in the world, but to have your best friend right there with you is a tremendous blessing and an enjoyable journey. Creating and raising our kids together is the apex atop all of the wonderful shared experiences, memories created, travels, professional pursuits, and living every day together. Knowing and understanding each other so well comes in handy when we have to make tough decisions for our kids: what values we want to impart; what schools we think are best: how best to discipline, and how we need to stay on the same page so the boys can’t divide us and conquer (good luck getting through our steel wall kiddos!). Because we have such a long history, Mike and I know each other’s core values so we have a lot to draw from every day.
And best of all, we can still laugh at the end of the day. God knows we can fill a book with all of our inside jokes! Having my best friend on hand to share everything, and deal with everything, especially our kids, is one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. And it’s the gift that keeps on giving– and I don’t take it lightly. May 29th, is Mike’s birthday but the gift is truly mine.
So please join me in a virtual toast to Mike: an exceptional human being; man; husband; father; son; brother; executive; colleague; philanthropist, and friend. MY very best friend!