I am thinking it has to be about four or so years since Angie and her husband of (then) ten years moved to Southeast Alaska from the bone-chilling, seemingly cryogenic arctic northern part of the state where 60° below zero is not uncommon, even on the warm days! Both she and her husband are school teachers by profession and they taught school to Native Alaskans for several years. In that time, I believe they somehow became part Native Alaskan themselves. . .or at the very least, they have successfully adopted many of the customs and traditions of these incredible people of the north.
And now, a couple of years later, they have the cutest precocious little tow-headed guy running around their house. . .and probably anywhere else he can get to! He is a handful; yet I see Angie ~ in her consistency and patience ~ showing forth the greatest love for her charge. She has a ready smile and radiant eyes. In fact, those eyes speak volumes. Although still a young woman (at least by my estimation), she has experienced portions and remnants and snippets of life which would seem quite foreign to most of us. And from that, Angie exhibits wisdom and a sense of life well beyond the capacity I would attribute to most human beings. She is, in a word, phenomenal.
Not only do I hold Angie in high esteem, but I have had the privilege to observe multiple interactions between her and her husband. In so doing, I see the light in his eyes when he is near her, I see the admiration he has for her when she is in the spotlight ~ such as presenting in front of a group ~ and I see the depth of devotion he has for this woman who agreed to marry him over a decade ago. To me, the opportunity to quietly listen and watch this couple has been a treat and a blessing.
Angie, you are my hero. I love you, I admire you, I commend your successes in this life and this world. You are one of those rare "unsung heroes" we hear about so often, and secretly wish we could be. Thank you for blessing my life!