My wife said it best when she said “I’ve come to the conclusion that I am not, nor have I ever been, a statistic.” I think I told her that but we’ll let her take the credit for it. 😛 The point I’m making is that this couldn’t be more applicable to a person than my wife. Let me tell you the story of Lindsay and I and then let me tell you why she’s not a statistic, nor can she be defined by one.
We met online on Match in a very tumultuous time in my life. I was young, fresh out of the military and searching for what I was going to do with my life when I joined Match. I’d heard it said a hundred times before so I figured the saying “you need a good girl to settle you down” had to be true and joined the online dating world, optimistic I’d find someone who would love me for me and help to “settle” my life down and help me find my path in life. I was online for a few months and had a few dates (some good and some terrible) and met some great people but nothing panned out, I had all but given up on online dating and then something very strange happened in my life. You know how they say God works in mysterious ways? Well that’s monumentally true, otherwise I wouldn’t have met my savior, my strength, my inspiration and the love of my life, my wife. It was late February and I had been out with my friends celebrating what little time I had left in Bloomington-Normal. I was headed to Orlando to attend the Motorcycle Mechanic’s Institute to become a certified Harley mechanic. If you’d ever seen the show American Chopper, that is what i wanted to do more than anything, still do actually, but Illinois is no place for a small time motorcycle mechanic because we have what, like 4 months of riding weather sometimes? Anyway, there I was, lost in life and I decided that it was time to chase my dream so I enrolled in MMI in hopes of graduating and starting my own shop in a much warmer climate! We went out to celebrate and upon leaving the bar we had gone to a friend’s house for a drink or two and then we decided it was time to head home. I was about to make the biggest mistake of my life and had no clue. We got into my truck and headed towards my buddy’s house which was only about 2 miles away. It was close to midnight, the weather had just recently turned poor and it was lightly drizzling outside but that didn’t deter our plans to get home. We got about 2 blocks and we met a yellow light and I had to make a decision to stop or go and I stopped but my tires were a little over the stop line and there was a police car at the light to my left that decided to turn and pull up behind me and pull me over. I remember my heart instantly sinking, I knew I’d made a huge mistake in getting in my truck after having some drinks. It was irresponsible, reckless and selfish as hell but I was young, dumb and didn’t see that when I made the decision. I am not making excuses, I was just plain WRONG for doing what I didn’t and I’m a huge advocate for making sure people do NOT drink and drive when I’m out now. Unfortunately that night turned out the way I felt it would when I saw those lights behind me as we pulled to the side of the road. I was given a DUI, which would later be expunged due to my willingness to complete the necessary alcohol classes, community service and maintaining a spotless driving record for 2 years after that fateful night. Why am I going here and confessing this when I’m suppose to be talking about how amazing Lindsay is and how she’s not a statistic, right? I told you in the beginning that I was long-winded! 🙂 Seriously though, that mistake is part of who I am. I had growing pains, I made mistakes in life, I’m not perfect, I didn’t listen to my parents when I should have, I am a human being. You accept me for me, that’s it. While I’m on that soap box, we need to start accepting people for who they are. Race, religion, sexual orientation, gender or whatever the topic may be, we need to accept people for who they are. Sit down and get to know someone that epitomizes a cliché or a stereotype for you and let them change your mind. Everyone’s story is uniquely beautiful, if not gorgeously written by God and I sincerely mean that. You don’t know a person until you sit down to meet them and hear their story and selling them short of that is disrespectful and simple-minded. Love each other. It’s that simple. We have one true Creator and one true Judge and it’s not your place to play either, period. Ok, done being long-winded again. Anyway, that mistake that happened just 5 days before I left for Orlando for 13 months is a part of who I am and ultimately would be the absolute best mistake I’ve ever made.
This is where God implemented his mysterious plan. Due to my court case and classes, community service and other proceedings I had to postpone my motorcycle shop dreams for a while. It was during that time that I got an email one day on my phone at work that was from Match. I had honestly somewhat forgot that I was still online and it caught me off guard. I opened the email and there was Lindsay with a goofy smile on her face in her profile picture. Her first message to me (I always give her a hard time because SHE picked ME up :)) was a simple one, something to the extent of “Hey, your profile is pretty interesting and you sound like someone I’d like to get to know more about.” Man, did she pick the right guy or what?! 😀 In all seriousness, she peaked my interest as well and so we setup our first date and the rest is history! Anyway, that shows me that she’s not defined by a statistic. God very strangely (I would argue that it was unnecessarily expensive too, Lord!) chose to have me make the biggest mistake of my life to give me the greatest gift of my life. God knew how special she is and that I needed her to resurrect my life and give me the strength to pick myself up, brush off the dirt and keep stepping forward. God chose her for me for a reason, not because she fit a statistic.
Then there is the obvious one for any of you that know Lindsay. She won a car from American Idol. Let me repeat. She won a freaking CAR from American Idol. Her odds were undoubtedly under 1% on winning her Ford Fusion with a custom sound system and karaoke system in it that we still have in our driveway today. So there is that, she beat out the millions of other people to win a car, just more proof that she beats the odds.
Then there is the person that Lindsay is that will erase any doubts that you may have about her being undefinable by numbers or statistics. Here is where I flatter my wife and tell you how much she means to me so skip ahead if you’re not one for the mushy stuff. Lindsay is unbelievably gifted at getting the most out of people and MAKING PEOPLE around her BETTER. She found me in the darkest time of my life and gave me light, taking my hand and heart when I needed it most and pulled me to my feet to walk forward with her. She showed and continues to SHOW unflappable CONFIDENCE in herself, in me and in my goals and that means more to me than I tell her or than she knows. She is UNSELFISH, always trying to spoil me with gifts and surprises or going out of her way to make me have a better day and I love her for that. She is obviously incredibly STRONG, she has shown me from day one that she isn’t afraid of anything and is more than capable to be an independent, strong woman. She is KIND, always showing love and tenderness that is lusted for by people everywhere. She is NURTURING, always showing her daycare children the love, support and teachings like the love that she will soon show our baby boy. She is BEAUTIFUL in every sense of the word, mentally, physically, philosophically and morally. She is UNIQUE and proud of it, she owns her differences and makes them her strengths. She is SUPPORTIVE of me and our growing family. She is INDEPENDENT, which allows us to have our own interest and hobbies to keep our marriage balanced. She is a PLANNER which balances me out because I’m not. She is an INSPIRATION for me to be my best each day because she is deserving of nothing less than that. She’s also obviously extremely inspirational due to this very story that we’re all sharing together now as well! I could go on for hours with these but you get the picture, she’s not part of the 50% that pass due to this ugly disease in 12 months, she’s not part of the 90% that pass within 5 years, she is Lindsay.
She is not a statistic, she is not defined by the numbers given to us at the onset of our journey, she is different and we’re ready to show the world how special she really is.