Because I’m looking for a job I haven’t gotten personal (or controversial) on my blog. I’ve wanted to “curate” my digital footprint so that I don’t offend a potential employer or referral. But I’m going to be personal today. Really personal.
Today is my husband’s and my 28th wedding anniversary.
I can’t even comprehend what that means. 28 years of loving and being loved by a most exceptional man. A good man. A principled man. A generous and kind man. A man who knows who he is and who chose to walk beside me through life. A man who has supported me emotionally, metaphysically and in every other way imaginable. He’s supported my career (including 9 geographic moves and several instances of living apart when our jobs were in two different cities) in ways that most wouldn’t or couldn’t understand.
He’s my coach, my confidant, my cheerleader and my business advisor. And my best friend. He has dressed up in a tuxedo to escort me to black-tie business events; he has traveled around the world with my business colleagues; he has left great jobs because I had promotional opportunities. He is a good man.
My husband, the coach, is the coach you want your kids to be coached by. He’s the coach who tells his high school football team to go home and hug their mother and shake their father’s hand and thank them for their love and support. He’s the coach who tells his college women’s track team members to embrace their inner “stud” while embracing their femininity. He’s the coach who tells his high school wrestling team “we may not win every match but we’ll be in better shape than every other team we meet – increasing our chances of winning.”
He’s the coach who treats the gifted athletes and the uncoordinated “wanna-be’s” exactly the same – as long as they’re working as hard as they can. He’s the coach who treats the rich parents exactly the same as the parents who struggle to provide for their families — as long as they’re supporting their child’s development as a complete person. He’s the coach who treats female athletes the same as male athletes – that is, with respect, support and encouragement. He’s the coach who never gives up on a kid who gives it all they’ve got. Favoritism isn’t in his vocabulary.
I don’t know who loves him more: the student athletes because he treats them with respect; their fathers because he’s a former NFL coach; their mothers because he focuses on character development; or the school administrations because his his athletes get good grades, because he models good sportsmanship and his teams win.
This man has changed my life. More importantly, he’s changed the lives of hundreds of young people over the years. Former student/athletes who are now community, religious and business leaders. Former student/athletes whose children are now competing – and are calling their coach for advice. Former student/athletes – now business leaders – who look back at key practice situations and send messages of thanks for requiring so much from them and always thinking the best of them.
It’s an honor to be Mrs. Ira-John Gorman. I use the “Mrs.” with great pride because my partner is the most extraordinary man I know. And I love him more today than I did 28 years ago when we said “I do” in a small chapel with two friends standing up for us.
We could never have predicted the amazing life we would live together. But 28 years later, I’m grateful that God brought us together. More grateful than words can express.