A few more reasons I love and respect The Man:
- He’s dedicated to service – A lot of people talk about helping others, and most guys I know considered serving in the military at some point. Carl does both. He worked as a life guard in high school, volunteered in a hospital in college and worked as an EMT on an ambulance corps before going to med school. He’s voluntarily chosen a career serving the sick, the dying, the helpless, the needy, and (quite frequently) the insane fruitcakes of this world. He works long hours every week, sometimes three weeks at a stretch without a day off. He pushes through many nights with little or no sleep, and will still drag himself back in to the hospital on his day off if he thinks he might’ve missed an important test result or left a patient in the lurch. And if medical work isn’t brutal enough, it’s Army medical work as well – right now that means living in a barbed wire wasteland on the other side of the world.
- He’s not perfect – He’s going to read this, so I had to throw that in before his head explodes (and before someone accuses me of being a doe-eyed hero worshipper). We all sin and we all make mistakes. However, Carl is man enough to say sorry when he’s wrong, recognize his own faults, and struggle to overcome them.
- He knows when to be quiet – When Carl talks, he’s interesting, but he also understands the value of a companionable silence. He doesn’t have to talk all the time and he doesn’t need a constant stream of radio, TV, or music driving away the stillness. He values time alone to think and recuperate (and makes sure I can get some as well). We often enjoy long quiet hikes or evenings reading together where we barely talk for an hour or more at a stretch. Sometimes you are closer in the quiet than in a stream of chatter.
- He’s always up for a game – ….which is a good thing since he unwittingly married a labrador retriever whose always begging him to throw the frisbee or kick a soccer ball around. Play fetch? Play fetch? He also puts up with much youngest-child uber-competitiveness from his spouse and crushes me at Rummikub, Taboo, or Gin on a regular basis.
- He’s a gentleman – He automatically walks between me and oncoming cars, grabs doors, helps the elderly, eats with good manners at the table, and treats others with courtesy and respect.
Another photograph by my talented sister-in-law – the wedding dress from behind. It’d be a toss-up if I had to chose between being water boarded and having to shop – lucky for me (and my sainted chauffeur/mother) we found the dress on our first afternoon’s shopping, asked to have straps sewn on, and called it quits. I wore my mother’s wedding veil and her Jerusalem cross.