Hodge: Columnist sends out a special Valentine of thanks

Tez constantly does the work of two while pretending the stress and extra work is not a big deal.

Not sure what your plans are for Sunday on Valentine’s Day, but Tez and I will likely spend it lazily enjoying each other’s company while hiding at home.

Our tradition is to spend certain special days of the year, like Valentine’s Day along with Mother’s or Father’s Day, at home away from the cramped crowds while celebrating the special event either the day before or after.

This year, I anticipate an afternoon of daydreaming and planning our flower and vegetable gardens for spring planting since it helps us forget we are stuck in the gray days of February.

We have yet to discover why our yard never quite reaches, by late summer, our visions created back in mid-winter.

Regardless, like many of you, while we recognize Valentine’s Day has become an absurdly lucrative marketing day for card, flower and chocolate retail businesses, it is also a chance to slow down and thankfully acknowledge others in our life.

Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to recognize and truly appreciative that special person in your world. The reality is many folks are not fortunate (and sometimes not deserving) enough to have a special partner.

All jesting aside, I can’t imagine the frustration and complication of living with me. If I had a choice I would probably leave myself.

I am not sure what is more difficult to deal with—Charlie the procrastinating writer, the lone-wolf politician, the wanna be gardener, musician and hockey addict, or Charlie the spoiled husband.

Regardless, the task must be endlessly mind boggling and, let’s admit it, the pay is lousy.

On top of all the frustrations and broken promises that Teresa must deal with on a daily basis, there is another major issue that happens routinely around our house. Tez pretty much does everything while I somehow get all the glory and credit.

As many of you know, for the past half dozen years I have been living with emphysema, a terminal condition which truly is a breath-taking experience.

As time moves forward, my overall health is being set back and with it my ability to sometimes do the simplest of tasks.

The mind may be willing but the lungs at 18 per cent capacity simply refuse.

Every day, the challenge to repeat yesterday’s chore gets tougher and yet every day it is my sweet Tez that takes up the slack and takes care of whatever it is I have not.

While it is equally frustrating and aggravating for me, I can only imagine how tiring it is for my sweetie.

However, Tez constantly does the work of two while pretending the stress and extra work is not a big deal.

Like a true trooper, she simply continues to work full speed accomplishing the work of two—work that we use to do together but I now often can only sit back and observe.

The guilt factor I place on myself naturally eats away at my ego, which ironically results in my jerk-factor increasing.

Not only does Tez have to deal with an incapacitated male, but a grouchy, self absorbed one as well.

What I know is most difficult for my life partner is to watch me slowly dissipate in front of her knowing there is little she can do but simply be there.

She does so with no complaints, a smile on her face and more love than I ever thought was possible.

Teresa Hodge is indeed my wonder woman, the wind beneath my wings, and my best friend.

She will not be pleased that I have written this, extolling her kindness, love, dedication and willingness to do whatever it takes.

Thankfully, this column is about the only thing she has not taken over in my world.

So this week, I want her to know that not only do I love and acknowledge what she does for me, but also for all the others that cross our path.

I want her to know that I admire her heart, her compassion for others (including our four kittens), her endless wit, and her joy for life.

Most important I love her for her.

Like our dear friend Deb Stone wrote in her song (which she sang at our wedding): “You may not have had my first kiss but you have my last.”

I love you Tez and happy Valentine’s Day.

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It’s a good thing I manage to occasionally drag myself out of the house and into the real world. It humbles me to see that the world holds  many active, dedicated, focused, determined and caring people.

On Wednesday, I was part of a large crowd gathered at the Rotary Centre of the Arts for the 2016 Community Sports Hero Awards reception.

As the title might suggest, the annual awards event recognizes local athletes and volunteers for their contribution and success in sports.

Recipients in the sport hero award category (coaches, organizers) were Dan Bernheisel (basketball), Ken Boe (rugby), George Curran (rugby), Scott Jacobsen (soccer), Ben Macauley (football), Todd Russell (baseball), Paul Thiessen (volleyball), Johnny Vesterinen (tennis), Mike Walsh (athletics), Travis Wray (lacrosse).

Athletes taking home the Athletic Excellence Award were Tekarra Banser (biathlon), Hannah Bennison (athletics), Olivia Gran (figure skating), Danielle Gruber (gymnastics), Kailin Jones (volleyball), Riley McLean (para-swimming) who drew the largest applause from the crowd, Ryan Moffat (alpine skiing) Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe (basketball) and Heather Wurtele (triathlon) The Sport Hosting Award recipient was Joe Gluska, president of the BC Community Football Association.