My wife, the Commander Supreme, is stronger than me.
Let me explain why.
Before we departed for Hawaii on November 30, our home was completely decorated for Christmas. True, she did receive an assist from our youngest daughter, Elizabeth, but I had nothing to do with this decorating.
There was one exception.
Upon our return from Hawaii on December 18, the Commander was insistent that I do all of the exterior holiday lighting for our front door entrance.
This prodding did make me silently curse like a foul-mouthed coach who had just been assessed a technical foul. However, after ninety minutes of bungling lights, cords, outlets, and a timer, the lights are up and working. I’m sure her non-existent ego is smiling knowing she can still manipulate the knucklehead she married forty six years ago.
Another reason the Commander is stronger than me is that without her planning and logistical insights there would not have been a trip to Hawaii. At some point near the end of our paradise journey, my sister-in-law, Abby, her husband, Art, and I toasted the brilliance of this conquest by the Commander.
But, here is the real reason the Commander Supreme is stronger than me—she has stubborn endurance.
Let me explain further.
Despite her children and I telling her not to undertake her usual Christmas baking, on Monday, December 20 thru Thursday, December 23, the Commander Supreme became the Baker Supreme. Dozens of mini pumpkin bread loaves and round after round of cookies on baking sheets became gifts for family, neighbors, and friends.
The Commander bakes in stages, and when baking takes a break, she is running all kinds of errands to make sure that Christmas will be enjoyable. And when you ask her why she immerses herself in all the madness related to baking, there is a simple response—“Because I want to.”
Yet, I sense there is another reason too.
On Thursday morning at 9, helpers arrived to decorate sugar cookies—two of her granddaughters, Josie and Ellie. And then a bit later, her niece Sarah, a junior at Clemson, joined the fun.
Maybe, just maybe in the coordinated chaos in the kitchen, future baker seeds were being planted. Knowing how much the Commander Baker cherishes family, I believe years from now if our children, grandchildren and nieces were hunkered down in their kitchens baking sugar cookies at Christmas, the Commander’s heart would smile.
Currently, I’m reading 41 A Portrait Of My Father, a book about George H.W. Bush, written by his son, George W. Bush. I have learned that the elder Bush was quite a letter/note writer.
Back in 1983, he wrote this note to his children: “I’m getting a little older. I’m not sure what the future holds. I don’t worry about that. Win or lose, older or younger, we have our family.”( Page 150 from 41)
Those last four words—“we have our family” are powerful.
No matter the ups and downs, I have put my wife through, and the ups and downs experienced by our children, and the ups and downs of the Commander’s siblings, I think she has always valued the words— “we have our family.”
Clearly, we would not be a family without the steady, stubborn endurance of the Commander Supreme.
Quite simply, we would be lost without her.
Yes, my wife is stronger than me.
And in truth, she is our strength, our pulse, not just at Christmas, but everyday of the year.
Thanks, Merry Christmas, we love you.