I know a hero who does not seek gain, but servanthood. He improves another’s day in profound ways with simple actions. He knows the meaning of sacrifice and the power of humility. This hero knows people are more important than things. He phrases everything in a positive light. He is someone who knows how to delegate and has the passion to inspire.
Have you ever met a person who changes the way you look at the world? Who inspires you to be a better version of yourself? I have, and I married him.
On a Wednesday evening at a dance hall, a guy in a baseball cap and tight Wranglers walked towards me. I silently proclaimed to myself that I was going to dance with him—all night. Nine months later, we were married in Las Vegas, and 22 years later, we are still happily married and raising two boys. Jake loves the moments when he can share that I picked him up, and not the other way around.
I was 29 years old when I met the guy who drives me crazy and makes me smile at least once a day, who sits quietly in the background helping, inspiring, and encouraging others without the need for recognition. He tells me in different ways, every day, how fortunate HE is to have met me.
From the first night I met him, he has always been kind and considerate, a gentleman opening doors, helping me with my coat, pulling out my chair; I admire how he’s teaching chivalry to our boys by his own actions. During conversations with others, Jake listens so attentively that the other person feels like he’s the most important person in the room. Jake teaches our kids about teamwork, perseverance, sportsmanship, the value of hard work, and the ability to deal with adversity.
Jake gently and quietly makes everyone around him better versions of themselves.
He teaches people things they don’t realize they’re learning until well into the process. Our boys would complain about having to mow the lawn, but have since completed their fourth summer earning money mowing lawns. Jake always encourages us to find our own path to fulfillment, to become what we want to become, and to find our way with enthusiasm and passion.
Jake grew up with a single mom and helped raise his two younger sisters. He met his father only once. One year into our marriage, his father sent him a letter apologizing for not being present and asking to become a part of our lives. Without hesitation, Jake welcomed him with open arms and an open heart, no questions asked. The ability always to see the good in everyone, to forgive, to offer second chances are just a few of the many things that amaze me about Jake.
Jake gives our boys so much love and patience. When our oldest son comes home late from work, Jake sits with him, even though he has to get up early for work. Together, the two enjoy dessert, while Jake listens to whatever stories our son wants to share. He is an exceptional provider, teacher and mentor.
He believes in me and encourages me. He dreams with me and is always honest. He never just tells me what he thinks I want to hear. I’ve become a better person with Jake by my side. We balance each other; we understand each other; we help each other see difficult events in a hopeful light. We welcome each other’s differences, which has enhanced our relationship.
It’s the day-to-day little moments I cherish most of all. Jake shows kindness to every person who crosses his path; he is helpful to friends, family, acquaintances and strangers. He welcomed his mother-in-law into our home with an open mind and heart for 11 years. The love he always shared with his grandma, our “Gg,” warms my heart. He also welcomed a 17-year-old young man from his youth group whose mother was in and out of rehab to live with us so he could finish out his senior year of high school. The young men who were once in Jake’s youth group still reach out to him for advice and encouragement. Jake never hesitates to take their calls. He always listens and only offers advice when it is asked for.
Jake is the ultimate example of a person who knows what he doesn’t know, is perfectly willing to admit it, and doesn’t want to leave until he understands. Jake doesn’t give up easily and always puts others’ benefits before his own. That’s heroic to me.
Tina Huey is a mom of two fantastic kids and wife of her hero, who also happens to be an incredible dad and husband. She is an avid reader, and a life long learner. She enjoys exercising. She loves to laugh—to find the ridiculous in adversity. She is passionate about life and living it to the fullest, being the best version of herself, and helping others in a positive way so we can all make this world a better place.