Dec 19, 2010


Today is my wife's birthday.  I know that many of you may grow weary of my bragging on Heather.  But, frankly, I don't care.  She is an incredible woman and deserves the praise.  This year, I was thinking about her special day and one word came to mind.


- having or showing great intelligence, talent, quality
This is the most familiar definition of brilliant.  It is a person who has amazing intelligence.  They can do unbelievable things with their minds.  Obviously, Heather is brilliant.  She has excelled at every level academically.  And she seems to get better with each challenge.  What she is accomplishing right now is simply insane.  I always kind of knew that Med School was hard.  But I really didn't appreciate just how tough it was.  This year, she has had 23 credit hours each semester.  They have quizzes every week that cover as much material as a normal person's exam.  Their monthly tests are equivalent to a college class' semester exam.  I am usually overwhelmed just seeing HOW MUCH they have to do.  That is before even looking at the actual material - which is just stupid hard.

But she keeps on torching the classes.  She has mostly A's with a few B's.  But she is doing this with three kids and a husband that are demanding of her time and attention.  Except for the few days right before a test, she does not have the luxury of studying for nine hours a day.  She has to make the most of her time.  And once she gets home, you can find her sitting in a chair with her laptop on, her notebook open, and a kid trying to squeeze into her lap as well.  I am constantly amazed at her brain.  Quite simply, she is absolutely brilliant.

- distinguished; illustrious: a brilliant performance by a young pianist
The second meaning of brilliant is having great stature.  It has more to do with reputation and talent than just intelligence.  Again, it completely applies to Heather.  She is loved by professors and students alike.  We will be sitting there at night after the kids are in bed - watching tv while she studies.  Her phone keeps on beeping with texts and emails.  I'll ask what's going on and it will many times be someone needing her advice, her help studying, her comfort.  This is what is going to make her a great doctor.  There are many doctors who are smart - but just terrible.  They don't have the personality or reputation needed.

I watch her with our kids or with other children.  I liken it to watching a superstar athlete hitting their stride.  They just start to do things that people should not be able to do.  With Heather, it is like she morphs when it is time to go into doctor mode.  It isn't just that her brain throws out all the potential diagnoses or medications, approaching it intellectually with her intelligence.  She looks at the person and tries to connect to them.  She meets them where they are.  The goal is to help them get better.  Her heart connects with them.  It really is something to behold.  When Natalie was sick a couple months back, Heather started figuring out how to approach the illness.  She was talking to Nat, coming up with creative stories and explanations and illustrations.  Natalie went from nervous to smiling and ready for treatment.  The nebulizer became a "strawberry flavored cloud maker."  Sitting in the bathroom with steam billowing led to a big story about princesses.  And I've witnessed her do that same kind of thing with other people and kids.  That isn't something that is learned.  It is a gift, a talent, a passion, a mindset.  And it is brilliant.

- shining brightly; sparkling; glittering; lustrous: the brilliant lights of the city
This last meaning is brought to mind when thinking of diamonds and lights.  They shine and sparkle and generate light.  Again, this applies to Heather.  She is sparkling and bright and shining.  She projects the light and love of God.  People are drawn to her.  She just radiates.  I have had the pleasure of watching this over the years.  I see the scores of people whose lives have been changed by Heather's role in their lives.  It is a wonderful thing to experience.

I know the personally I have been won over by these qualities.  The room lights up when she comes in.  My kids cheer when she comes home or gets in the car.  (Seriously - they do.  "MAMA!!!")  She's just one of those people.  I don't know anyone who has anything against her - because she doesn't give anyone a reason to.  She honestly is just trying to bless everyone.  Even her eyes are sparkly.  They are this cool blue color and the pattern looks like a cross section of a strawberry - if it was blue.  I love them. And I love her.  She's brilliant.  And I'm the luckiest guy in the world.

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