Digital Print Ink - February 2020

FEB 2020

DIGITALPRINTINK.NET 40 YEARS AND COUNTING AN EXTRAVAGANT GIFT F ebruary has always been a special month for my wife, Jan, and me. We make it a point to celebrate Valentine’s Day every year, but we also celebrate an important milestone on that same day: Jan’s birthday! I decided then that she deserved something special. So, I bought her a new car. I found a brand new Acura coupe — a sleek, sporty car that looked phenomenal

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For a Well- Deserving Wife, Mother, and Confidante

in its day. I managed to find the car in Kansas City and negotiated down to the right price. On the way home, I picked up a big red ribbon and pulled the car into the driveway. I had clued our eldest daughter, Cortney, into what I was doing, and I sent her inside to get her

For more than 50 years, Jan has been a constant support for me while I climbed the ladder of corporate America and traveled across the country for work. She continued to raise our two daughters while I spent countless days building my career and countless nights in business hotels. Jan became a single parent while I was on the road. Somewhere around the early ‘90s, as her birthday approached, I came to the realization of just how much work Jan had put into our family. Jan and I had just gotten into a little argument and were giving each other the silent treatment. If you have been with your partner for a while, you understand these moments. I’m not entirely sure what the trigger was, but the aftermath of this argument prompted me to think about how much dedication Jan put into our then-20-year marriage. If I had to attach a value to it, it would be a very large number. “For more than 50 years, Jan has been a constant support for me while I climbed the ladder of corporate America and traveled across the country for work.”

Jan’s birthday surprise!

mom. Now, I tease Jan for how naive she can be about stuff like this. Even after 50 years, I can still get her good! And this day with the car was no different. When Jan came out of that house, she still wasn’t sure what was going on — even with the big bow! Once she understood, she was excited. The look on her face was priceless and still one of my favorite memories to this day. We loaded our girls into the new car and went out as a family to celebrate her birthday! It was a beautiful, head-turning car, and I still smile thinking about how much Jan enjoyed this gift. This was a special gift, and when you look at what this vehicle cost over the time and dedication Jan put into our marriage and family, it was a well-earned present. We were married when we were still just teenagers — I turned 18 days before our wedding — and she has remained one of my biggest supporters and a constant source of strength in my life. She is a great mom and grandmother, and she is fervent in her faith. I am so grateful we have built this life together.

While I may not be buying her a car with a big bow this year, I hope she knows just how much she means to me.

Happy birthday and Valentine’s Day, Jan.

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