Friday, June 17, 2011
Almost 21 years ago, I met a girl in college. Once we became friends, I started calling her "Beautiful Marty," because I thought she was, well, beautiful. And she was, inside and out. I called her that so much that other people started referring to her as Beautiful Marty as well. Once it stuck, I don't think I ever didn't greet her with this moniker I had bestowed on her. And, although we weren't college sweethearts, our love story was meant to be.
We started dating after graduating. When I would be filling friends in on my love life and drop Marty's name, many of them would come back with, "Beautiful Marty?" Yes, Beautiful Marty. Just recently I read a transcript from a friend's book that's about to be published. She asked Marty if she could include a conversation they had in her upcoming release. Our friend the author mentioned in her writings that in college I referred to my future wife as "Beautiful Marty." I never knew how widespread that nickname had become, but why shouldn't it? It is a very fitting nickname.
When Marty had her surgery in 2008, it initially changed her appearance drastically. At the time, we had been married for 11 years. I've said it before, but I have never felt more married to her than when she was in that hospital recovering. This was my wife. We had made vows to each other, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, that we would walk side by side through whatever. As I watched her endure the pain of her recovery, I felt my commitment to her come alive. It didn't matter what her appearance was. I had fallen in love with the beautiful person that she was (is) on the inside and I would be the stupidest man on the planet to ever walk away from such an incredible woman. Let's not forget that she's loved me warts and all and stuck by my side when I hadn't made it all that easy for her to do.
We were talking in the car and I brought up her famous nickname. She thought I was just being nice to her back in college and that I meant she was beautiful on the inside (I assured her it was inside and out). She said maybe God allowed me to see her that way all those years ago knowing what we would be going through down the road. It's quite a thought, but all I know is I still think of my wife as "Beautiful Marty," because she is. It's a fact, and it ain't ever gonna change.