I find myself often saying that I don’t need my husband. I say this because I was a single mother for several years. I worked hard to make sure I could one day be able to provide for my baby and myself. I went to school full time, juggled internships, and worked part time. I got my Bachelor’s degree and immediately returned to school and got my Master’s degree. I also graduated with honors and obtained full time employment. I made sure my daughter had everything she needed and even some of the things she wanted. Most importantly, I made sure I was there because in the end that’s what children tend to remember the most anyway. I was dating my husband at the time and hoped that we would make it but I had already learned the hard way that there were no guarantees in life.
My goal was to make sure that my daughter’s childhood was a good one. That she was allowed what I believe is her right — to be a child and not be forced to grow up too soon because of the poor choices of her mother. I was determined to get to a place in which I didn’t need anyone. I would be fine with or without a man and everything that I would become in life would be because I did it on my own. And I must admit that I carried this mentality into my marriage.
Last night as I listened to you speak to the nation I saw things differently than I had ever seen them. You Mr. President, the man so many look up to and admire, the man who signed up to carry the weight of our nation upon your shoulders one more time shared that you wouldn’t be the person you are without your wife, our First Lady, Michelle Obama.
“And I wouldn’t be the man I am today without the woman who agreed to marry me 20 years ago.”
I realized that while life has a way of shaping us into the people we become it goes far beyond that. It is the people in my life coupled with events, some amazing and others tragic, who have shaped me the most; their impact on me lingering forever. My husband is one of those people. I would not be the woman I am or the mother I am had there been no him, no us.
I realized that I do need him. I need him to keep loving me and believing in me and reminding me that he is in my corner. So far he has done that better than anyone I have ever known, even my mom and she’s hard to top. I need him to have my back as I reach for my dreams and to ensure that our children are always at the forefront of our lives. I need him to remind me that our hard work and the sacrifices that we make mean something and that they are not in vain. Most of all, I need him to continue to sing the song of my heart the way he always does whenever I forget the words just as he has always done. I imagine this is what you and the First Lady do for one another too.
So Mr. President, I say thank you. Thank you for believing in our nation, thank you for believing that our dreams matter, and for caring about the world our children will inherit. Thank you for valuing love and commitment, not just what is shared between you and your spouse but what is shared by so many men and women across the United States. Thank you for reminding us that your spouse helping to make you the person you are today doesn’t make you weak, or less of a person or too vulnerable. Instead, it makes you fortunate and wealthier than what our bank account statements tell us and all the tangible things so many of us are constantly striving to obtain, forgetting that it is not the things that make us who we are.
In a time when the economy is one of our world’s biggest concerns I can’t help but think of the riches I do have. My children, our crazy dog, and a man who has shown me that he is worthy of being needed. A man, who is just as proud and grateful to be married to me as you are to be married to Michelle. A man who I can now look in the face and say, “I wouldn’t be who I am without you.” Because truthfully, as crazy as he makes me sometimes, I wouldn’t be.
Photo Source: Barack Obama’s Twitter
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