Because the women in my life make every day worth celebrating

imageSitting on the edge of the bed this morning, I looked over at my wife’s slowly stirring figure. I watched her stretch beneath the blankets and finish with that little squeal that means it was a good stretch. She yawned, covering her mouth with the back of her hand like she always does. Her eyes focused and she slowly smiled at me.

I smiled back, knowing in that moment I was exactly where I was supposed to be in my life.

Before heading to work, I slipped a note into her lunch:

You make every day better because of loving you.

It wasn’t until arriving at work that a Facebook post informed me it was National Women’s Day. It made me think of how the women in my life — especially my wife, daughters and mother — are a constant inpiration, and how the gift of their presence is something worth celebrating every day. 

It’s true that the degree of celebration may vary sometimes with my teen daughter depending on her mood. However, she has a wonderful complexity that, though challenging, has helped me become a better father. Not to mention she’s the one who keeps me hip, plugged in and “extremely cool” (I’m quoting myself). Without her advice and insight into modern culture and social media trends, I would probably be wearing white vans and clueless as to why teenagers were yelling, “Damn, Daniel!” Her humor often catches me off guard, which in itself is a gift that more than makes up for the occasional girl stomp or exaggerated sigh that causes me to grit my teeth and turn to DubSmash for comfort.

Again, without her I wouldn’t even know what DubSmash was. Or that it’s not really cool anymore.

Though I blame my oldest daughter for being easy to raise, therefore setting an unrealistic expectation bordering on parental entrapment, I realize it’s not her fault. Besides, had her brother been born first, I probably wouldn’t have her in my life at all — because he would have been an only child. Instead, I have spent the last 21 years marveling at her confidence and initiative. She was born an old soul whose insightfulness I’m fortunate to have in my life — and smile proudly at — as a father.

Each Wednesday, I’m reminded of where I came from while visiting with my mom over coffee. She had me when she was just 17. In a way, we grew up together — a child raising a child — creating a special bond and shared perspective of humor, love and what it takes to persevere through tough times. My father’s alcoholism lead to a broken family and ultimately divorce. But her love has been a constant force in my life, as well as her  optimism about it. She encouraged my creativity and helped me understand its value and importance. And still does.

Plus, she’s weird like me.

Each day became better for me 10 years ago when I met my wife. It was a connection that was instantaneous and complete, lighting up the world in a way I had never seen it before. Her wisdom and warmth have not only made me a better person, but loving her has made me the kind of man and father I want to be. She is my confidant, best friend, conscience and partner in crime. Someone who understands my point before the words leave my mouth — and even more importantly, her perspectives and example have made what leaves my mouth an improvement. I laugh harder, love more deeply and strive to live in the moment because of what we share.

Because I don’t want to miss a single moment.

As I sat on the bed watching my wife awaken this morning, I had no idea it was National Women’s Day.

But truth be told, every day is worth celebrating the incredible women in my life…






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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

65 thoughts on “Because the women in my life make every day worth celebrating”

  1. A great tribute to the generations of women in your life. I hope my son will feel the same as you do for your mom.

    My daughter tricked me too; if my son had been born first, he would have been an only child. But time evens things out.

  2. Happily, I am not LOLing here today. This was truly a beautiful raw and open post and a beautiful tribute to the women in your life. I’m sure they all appreciate how special you are Ned.
    And thanks for recognizing National Women’s Day for all of us. 🙂

  3. I am not sure what I did in my life to deserve you. ❤

    This was really beautiful. Thank you for being the man you are and the man we need.

    I Love you. Truly. Completely. Endlessly.

  4. You and Mrs Ned deserve each other. Great tribute.

    March 8, is a day I always remember – my mother’s birthday. There was a strong woman, whom I didn’t always like. But she was Mum. Apr that it’s IWD.

  5. You’re a good man, Ned Hickson – but I still have no idea how either one of us attracted such extraordinary women…

    Beautifully written, buddy.
    I’m not going to go into details, but yesterday I had reason to reflect on my life with my wife of 21 years. She truly saved my life and I cannot imagine life without her.
    I hope neither one of us ever faces that reality. Sorry I’m rambling, but truly exceptional writing invokes strong emotions in readers, so…

    1. Coming from a good man, that means a lot, Robert. Whatever the circumstances were from yesterday, there’s a reason she’s in your life. More than fate or mere good fortune — it’s love. And it works in mysterious, wonderful ways. We are both blessed to have it. Being appreciative is why we still do.

      Cheers to that, and to the women in our lives 😉

    2. Hook and Ned,
      I absolutely love how you are with your wives. I’m blessed to have a good man in my life, too.
      Guys like you notice the little things and to a woman…that’s BIG.

  6. After reading this and the comments between you and your wife below, (tears streaming down my cheeks), I thought, now there is a real life couple who should write a book about marriage, relationship appreciation and how to stay connected… or each of us girls could pay you to be our significant others friend for a month or two…

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words, Tuckygl. I have a lot to be appreciative for, so staying connected is pretty easy. Unless I throw darks in with the whites on laundry day… 😉

  7. This might be another favorite post to add to the long list I already have. I can’t say much as I’m a bit stifled and teary-eyed. I love hearing about the relationship you have with the special women in your life – stories like these give the world some hope. I’m a huge believer in what you put forth into world is returned back to you. If that’s the case, you’ll continue to receive your women’s love and support exponentially.
    Happy weekend, Ned!

    1. Thank you so much for those kids words, Michelle. The truth is, I already feel their love exponentially 😉 Undoubtedly, the men in your life feel the same from you.

      1. they’re missing out so far it’s past left field…as a matter of fact, i’m not even sure we’re playing the same game. but i read this..and there it is..that hope…springing eternal. that men DO want that and appreciate that and it makes me imagine a world of what ifs.

No one is watching, I swear...

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