Woman of Mine

Last night, I showed my wife old photographs, and a certificate with my name on it. I told her what I just told you. I thanked her for all she’s done for me. For making an orphan feel like somebody, for once in his life.

Yesterday, I was digging through boxes in the garage. The boxes were covered in dust. I found things I didn’t even know I owned. A fondue pot, for instance. Brand new. Just what every man of the modern age needs.

I found our wedding photos, too. I had to sit down to look at those.

In one photo, I’m cutting a cake while the woman on my arm is laughing, holding her belly. Young Me is watching her.

I remember exactly what I was thinking. I was thinking the same thing I’m thinking now:

“I like making this woman laugh.”

Easier said than done. She doesn’t know how to fake laugh. It’s not in her. In fact, she doesn’t laugh unless something is worth dying over.

And if you’re lucky enough to see her get tickled—big “if”—the first thing she’ll do is hold her stomach. And IF you can get this woman to clutch her stomach, your life has been worth it.

I also found a certificate in one of the boxes. The thing was covered in plastic, with my name written on it. My college degree.

I was a grown man when I went to college. It took me eleven years to finish. The only reason I completed was because this woman believed I could.

Sometimes I can’t tell if I’m her sidekick or if she is mine.

Either way, she is a woman who does too much. She works too hard, she loves harder. She has quirks, too. And nobody knows them like me.

For example: she cannot fall asleep without an assortment of machinery.

In her arsenal is a foam wedge (for her lower back); a heating pad (for her cold nature); a mouthguard (she grinds her teeth at night); a sound machine (apparently I snore); earplugs (apparently I am not an amatuer snorer); an eye mask (to shield her face from my professional snoring); and a woven synthetic blanket (for suffocating husbands who sleep with their mouths open).

More about her: she writes thank-you notes religiously. She likes her coffee fixed pretty—sugar and two quarts of cream. She is a scorpio—this means she suffers from clinical road rage.

We do not have children. Her maternal love must go somewhere. So, she is a proud aunt. She holds her niece like she’s holding a stack of cash. She loves animals. She speaks Dog. She also speaks Feral Cat. We spend a lot of money on bags of dry food for strays.

She will risk her life to save a turtle.

She is a certified math teacher, but she doesn’t teach anymore. This woman pulled me through high-school equivalency classes and turned a red headed dropout into an educated dummy.

Then, she helped me through college. And on the day I once told her, “I don’t know if I have what it takes to finish school,” she gave me a four-hour pep-talk.

She is a chef. Sixteen ounces of her homemade pimento cheese is worth driving sixteen hundred miles. Her chicken salad should be on the Pope’s bucket list.

And Lord God Almighty, her biscuits.

Her granny died before imparting the sacred biscuit recipe, but somehow my wife figured it out.

Last night, I showed my wife old photographs, and a certificate with my name on it. I told her what I just told you. I thanked her for all she’s done for me. For making an orphan feel like somebody, for once in his life.

“You give me too much credit,” she said.

She’ll never know just how much credit she deserves until we reach the Other Side.

Until that day, I want to be the one who makes her hold her stomach.

36 comments

  1. Judy G - April 4, 2018 5:37 am

    Sean, such beautiful words, your Wife will never forget this.

    Reply
  2. CaroG87 - April 4, 2018 9:53 am

    As a fellow Scorpio with a constant state of road rage… 😁😁😁. Y’all are precious and give me hope that there are still awesome people out there.

    Reply
  3. Martha Owens - April 4, 2018 10:55 am

    A lovely tribute to that special woman who has been such a large part of your life. May you have many more happy years together!

    Reply
  4. Jo - April 4, 2018 11:12 am

    What a lovely commentary on your life together and what Jamie means to you. Thank you for the great AM read. And may you always make her hold her belly 🙂

    Reply
  5. Kathy - April 4, 2018 11:47 am

    ❤️❤️

    Reply
  6. Virginia Watson Snell - April 4, 2018 12:03 pm

    I knew I liked her alot. We are both Scorpios!

    Reply
  7. Bobby Hamil - April 4, 2018 12:06 pm

    This column should keep you in good graces with the bride for a while😊 Had pleasure of meeting Jamie at your Ozark performance. A real sweetheart!

    Reply
  8. MaryBurns - April 4, 2018 12:09 pm

    I love that you appreciate your wife so much, and that you tell her how much she means to you! So sweet!

    Reply
  9. Tammy Holder - April 4, 2018 12:17 pm

    What can I say . . . Just Beautiful!! Love means everything. Thanks for the daily reminder that brings tears to my eyes pretty much every morning. Wishing you and Jamie many more years of love and happiness. Give Ellie Mae a scratch for me!!

    Reply
  10. Penn Wells - April 4, 2018 12:18 pm

    Sean: I did not get this in my usual morning email deliveries and my wife, who shares many of the same traits as your wife, had to forward me hers. This is kind of a big deal, because, as my psychotherapist, I’ve gotten to where I can’t start the day without your calming wisdom. We seem to have a lot of people on TV these days who are intent on trying to turn us into a country of scaredy-cats. I thought I had figured out a way to get around all their fear mongering, but then, when I didn’t get today’s message like the rest of the flock, I admit I was afraid something had happened to you…or that you had discovered I was on the list and you knew I wasn’t worthy, so you dropped me off….on purpose. Or something equally awful. Then Sally came in the room and reassured and even convinced me this was probably some sort of non-Russian cyber glitch. Anyway, like you, I’m not sure what I’d do without her wifey-ness, and I don’t want to find out. BTW, I’m not going to re-subscribe…I’m just going to keep the faith and wake up tomorrow and hope I’m back in the good graces of you and/or the cyber Gods. After all, Faith is what it’s all about, isn’t it???

    (ps: if I don’t have some from you in my inbox tomorrow morning, I will re-subscribe and hope I haven’t been blocked).

    Reply
  11. Jack Darnell - April 4, 2018 12:27 pm

    YOu and me are lucky. Mine made my success, but I Suwanee “didn’t get me to get no degree!”

    Reply
  12. Bartley Rogers - April 4, 2018 12:48 pm

    Home run!

    Reply
  13. Sue Cronkite - April 4, 2018 1:16 pm

    Another great one!

    Reply
  14. Carol Houston Rothwell - April 4, 2018 1:35 pm

    You make me smile,& sometimes cry,everyday,
    Does that count!!
    Love ya.👼!

    Reply
  15. Shirley Brown - April 4, 2018 1:41 pm

    Your writing gets better with more life under your belt. I feel like I know your wife but then I’m from Alabama and I had a grandma who’s biscuits and blackberry cobbler had my name written in the dough and flaky crusts. One of your greatest talents, in my humble southern opinion, is your ability to bring back sleeping memories of days gone by. Southerners love their cultural heritage and our memories of the ‘old’ days continue to make us who we are today. Thank you for being the scribe who keeps those memories the cream that comes to the top of the churn.

    Reply
    • MissBirdieC - April 4, 2018 3:01 pm

      Perfectly said!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Reply
  16. Minnie Tate Bourque - April 4, 2018 2:13 pm

    Sean, you inspire me. What beautiful, loving words! I love reading your daily thoughts.

    Reply
  17. Edna B. - April 4, 2018 2:20 pm

    Love is everything. I wish you and your lovely bride many more years of love and happiness. Hugs, Edna B.

    Reply
  18. Charmion - April 4, 2018 2:43 pm

    Beautiful! You are both very blessed to have each other! 💕

    Reply
  19. Birdie Colclasure - April 4, 2018 2:58 pm

    LOVE!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  20. Wendy Franks - April 4, 2018 2:59 pm

    A beautiful tribute to your Jamie!

    Her “arsenal” for sleeping sounded just like mine, but it’s more than worth it. My husband is one in a gazillion and I pray we’ll have many, many more decades on earth together. I fully expect to be reunited in heaven because I know God sent us to each other.

    Love to you three.

    Reply
  21. Jack Quanstrum - April 4, 2018 3:36 pm

    Good reading!

    Reply
  22. rustyshouse - April 4, 2018 3:58 pm

    Just absolutely LOVE!!!!!!

    Reply
  23. Peggy League - April 4, 2018 4:11 pm

    Oh my Lord! She is a lucky woman and you are a lucky man. God bless you both. I love your stories. They keep me hopeful…….

    Reply
  24. Janet Mary Lee - April 4, 2018 4:14 pm

    I love that you two appreciate each other and know each other so well! Never stop loving and sharing! It is becoming a rare thing these days! I love you two have it! Kiss Ellie May for me, too!

    Reply
  25. muthahun - April 4, 2018 4:32 pm

    Takes a good man to truly appreciate a good woman. I have a “not an amateur snorer”, too. Perfectly stated, sir!

    Reply
  26. LARRY WALL - April 4, 2018 6:48 pm

    Sean, old sport, you may have lost your dad too early but you were never an orphan. You had a very loving mother and a doting little sister. I am sure both of them helped you to be more appreciative of Jamie, who sounds incredibly like your mom in many ways. But most women have many of the virtues that help them understand and support us men, thanks be to God. And your other best girl, Ellie Mae, must be pretty good at it also. I’ll bet they all would settle for a long, tight hug from you in return. My best girl sure likes them.

    Reply
  27. Ronda - April 4, 2018 8:14 pm

    Deep love, precious!

    Reply
  28. Barbara - April 4, 2018 8:42 pm

    😊 ❤ 🤗 Thank you for your heartfelt notes about Life and Love. I read them Every Day, and they reaffirm peace and love in this crazy world.

    Reply
  29. Judith Pierce Croxton - April 4, 2018 10:05 pm

    One statement — get your wedding pictures out of the garage!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  30. Beth Reed - April 5, 2018 1:18 am

    I don’t understand why it says invalid security token. I re subscribed but my post is long gone in cyber space some where so I will just say…. You and Jamie make my days and sometimes my nights as I usually am awake to hear the ping of a new email on my phone and usually read before I go to sleep and ponder your posts and am always reminded of something special. Keep writing and keep giving your Jamie lots of cherished hugs and kisses… there can never be enough of those… Beth Reed

    Reply
  31. Judith - April 5, 2018 2:19 am

    What a lovely way to say I love you (Jamie). I love my sweet hubby like this, snoring and all. He is my one in a million.

    Reply
  32. Curran Bowen - April 5, 2018 2:46 am

    Wise beyond your years, young man!

    Reply
  33. Debbie - April 5, 2018 3:15 am

    How precious! Once again, I want to be this woman that someone loves to make laugh..widowed way too young, then a second try that didn’t work.. I think I’m destined to die alone, as much as I hate and am terrified of that thought..I envy you and am happy for you both…Go make her laugh!

    Reply
  34. Gerald - June 10, 2018 11:45 am

    My grandmother raised me. She was born in 1902 (before Willl/Orv flew their aeromachine). She made country biscuits every morning of her life, presumably starting at day three. When i was 12 she fell and broke her arm. She could still mix them up just fine. Only takes one hand you see. It was my task to roll them out each morning. After watching this process for six or seven weeks I had the process pretty well down pat. Could be I’m a tad slow but not totally inept. To this day we still have Grandmom Murphy biscuits mostly when having chicken or inviting company for dinner. She passed away in 1995. Well after man had walked on the moon. An amazing woman and my salvation.

    Reply
  35. Julie Poehlman - June 10, 2018 3:36 pm

    It is not good for man to be alone, even with an awesome dog. Sean, thank you from a childless, 72 credit college not finished yet, wife of a VERY patient man. Looking back is healthy except for garage mold, mildew, & dust !!! Please take care of yourself, Jamie needs you too. Just sayin’

    Reply

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