He's selfless and hard working, loyal and kind, loving and never begrudged. He puts his family first always and never hesitates to meet our immediate needs.
I could say a lot about Bert but there are 3 stories from this past year that I think speak volumes to the kind of man, father, husband and lover of Jesus that he is. Three stories that I think set him apart and make me so thankful that he is ours.
The first started early last fall. With Loulie in school every day this year, I thought I would have the time to take a women's class at church that I have been interested in for two years now. After signing up with several good friends, I found out that Loulie's release time would not give me a chance to finish the study and get back over to James Island in time to get her. I was frustrated but mostly just disappointed to miss the opportunity to spend time with friends and grow in the Lord. And without much thought and never a complaint, Bert started rescheduling his day every Wednesday so that he could pick Loulie up and the two of them could have a lunch date. I choke up every time I think of this--that he was willing to stop his work day to spend time with his daughter and take a responsibility off my plate so that I could do something for myself. I don't even think he realizes what a gift that was and what it spoke to both me and Loulie.
The second came in February. I was out of town on a women's retreat and it was Loulie's first school dance. She obviously had no expectations at the age of four and I simply reminded Bert to maybe dress up a little and show her how "dates" work. His only reply--"have fun, I've got this." Later that night I received a photo of Bert in full out tuxedo with Loulie holding a bouquet of pink roses. He told her to wait in her room while he ran around to knock on the front door. I know daddies all over the country do the whole daughter dance thing but I was just proud of Bert that night for planning it all on his own and making her feel so special.
The third is just a small story but I hung up the phone shocked with his selflessness. I had just a small meeting to attend a few weeks ago. WIth Loulie being so sick lately, it has been rare for me to get out for anything. Bert called and asked what it was I had planned that upcoming Thursday. I reminded him and he said okay. After badgering him for a few minutes as to why he wanted to know, he finally confessed that he had been invited to hear Willie Nelson and Allison Krauss in concert but was going to turn it down so that I could go to this simple dinner meeting. This is a guy who never goes out. Thankfully, my mother had just told me she was coming in town early and could hang with Loulie so we were both able to go to our events. But I couldn't believe he was willing to miss something so fun and such a rare opportunity so I wouldn't have to miss mine.
When I tell the story of our dating, people always look at me a little shocked and then I kind of can't believe it myself--that I married someone after only knowing them a year and even then only seeing them on weekends. Let's just say it was a leap of faith. And after being married for 7 years, I'll confess there were several things that we didn't know, almost none of which have really mattered. The main thing that I never expected was what a wonderful husband and father Bert would grow to be. How I hit the jackpot 8 years ago and how 90% of the time I am so thankful for how well he loves us. It has been a mostly stressful, work concentrated year but there is absolutely no one I would rather go through it with the one God gave me. I am thankful every day for the relationship Bert has with Loulie and for the confidence he instills in her through his love. He asked me last night if I thought he would be a good "boy dad." I tell people all the time that though our sweet boy is an unexpected blessing, God's plan doesn't surprise me that much because if anyone will raise a good man, it will be Bert.
I guess he has never heard me say that which is the point of this post....
We love you, Husky Bear! And are absolutely thankful for all you do! Happy Birthday! Prayers for a wonderful and blessed year ahead!