Today is “International Women’s Day”, and like many other people will undoubtedly do in their own forums, I am going to spend a few paragraphs honoring my women hero.
Much as I love and respect (and miss!) my beloved mother, and believe me, she’s as worthy as any woman on the planet of honoring on this day, I am going to shine the light of reflection and gratitude on my brilliant, brave, and beautiful wife.
As many regular readers here know, my Jacquelynn is an accomplished scholar and scientist. With an advanced degree in mechanical engineering, she launched her career by turning a then-groundbreaking hand-made diabetic blood tester into a hugely successful mass-produced game-changer for patients and the parent company both. Parlaying that triumph into many, many more in the field of medical science and other disciplines as well, she was known and respected throughout the industry and was the go-to engineering manager for medical start-ups, often turning down new and challenging offers while focused on her current projects.
Today, she sometimes despairs that she’ll never work in her beloved field again. She can be forgiven the occasional bout of fear and even shame, but I must never fail to remind her just what she’s accomplished thus far in her latest task.
She’s recovering from Alzheimer’s disease. This is not possible, according to currently accepted medical knowledge (though that is beginning to shift), but she’s doing it.
It’s not easy, and she still has far to go, but she is inarguably getting better. Even she notices it now, where before I had to point out to her the grains and evidence of progress, now Jacquelynn will stop in mid-sentence and remark “You know, I don’t think I would have gotten/realized/remembered that before.”
Jacquelynn is my beloved wife, the undisputed love of my life and a partner whom I honestly feel I have known and loved through many a lifetime. She is also, without doubt or hesitation, the bravest, strongest, most dedicated and focused individual I have ever known. Woman, man, child or adult, I have never encountered a truer hero and inspiration.
I go through every day just hoping that I can be enough, that I can serve and support her journey sufficiently. I strive to be what she needs me to be, and I can only pray that I can be even a fraction of the Matthew she deserves.
And I ask you again, if you are capable of doing so, to please help in any way you can. With our finances running low, I’ve launched a campaign to help. Please read and share the link, and you have our deepest gratitude for any assistance you are able to offer.