Sam, I Am

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As a young girl, I, like many other young girls, would dream up my prince charming.  Mine was tall with dark hair and smoldering eyes, smart, and funny.  He would be the guy that would do anything for his wife.  He would ride in (on a white horse, of course) just in time and save the day.  As an (ahem) older, (much) wiser woman, I now realize that dream came true (minus the horse, of course).  But I’m not just talking about my Prince Charming of a husband.  I've been blessed enough to have the very same dream come true for my daughter.  Little did I know when I was praying for that perfect guy for me, I was asking for the very same for my then not-yet-a-twinkle-in-my-eye daughter.

Sam is what I always refer to as “proof of the power of a praying parent.”  (Say THAT five times fast!)  To say that he is a good husband to our daughter is an understatement.  There is no doubt in our minds that if there was a bullet coming toward her, he would jump in front of it (though we believe it would bounce off his chest).  Yes.  He is definitely a superhero.  The gentle, sweet, and lovely kind  - with the inner strength and moxie of ten men.

But being Chelsea’s husband is not Sam’s entire identity to us.  Sam is someone we've watched go through the horrific loss of his older brother with grace and mourn his loss with full-force.  Sam is that same man that stood with his shoulders taut so that his family could rest on them during that tragedy.  Sam is the man that stands for what’s right at the risk of losing to what’s wrong.  He is the same man that trembled a little when he proposed to Chelsea, but stood tall and strong to look her in the eye on her wedding day.  Sam is the man that took us to lunch to ask for our daughter’s hand in marriage with the promise to protect her, and the man who has followed through on that promise thus far.  He is the man that looks at me with a softness that makes me forget he’s not my own child.  Sam is the man that can look at Chelsea like she is the most beautiful woman that ever existed and yet, like she’s a steak and he’s starving all at the same time.  He is Sam.  Not Sam who tries too hard or pretends to be someone he isn't.  If you were to ask him why he is this way and how did he get here, he would humbly shrug his shoulders, and say with that serious tone-of-voice and a wry little half-smile, “That’s just who I am.”

Sam, I am.

I don’t know that I can extend to you how grateful I am to have that for Chelsea – and for this family.  In this world, and in this life, you never know what you’re going to get.   But I prayed for him – and he came.  God sent him.  Yes.  Sam is a God-send.

Our family goes through the ups and the downs.   And Sam is part of both every step of the way.  But his faith remains strong.  His belief system is part of his make-up – and he won’t let his own burdens weigh on you.  I sometimes stand in amazement at how this is true of our son-in-law.  I watch him with his wife (our daughter) and how he loves her without condition.  I watch him with his younger brother and two younger brothers-in-law, and how he tries so hard to be a leader.  I watch him with his parents and how he loves them enough to be his own man, but thankful for the man they've helped him become.  I watch him silently allow people to be themselves while he slyly watches in the background, careful never to steal any thunder.  I watch him and wish I could say I was Sam.  Sam, I am.

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