When all I had was nothing but small pockets and big dreams, she was there, believing in me.

When I lost college football and a huge part of my identity, and was trying to figure out who I was and who I wanted to be, she was there, walking with me through that rough transition.

When, late one night, on a walk through our college campus, I read my story out loud for the first time ever, with tears in my eyes, she was there, as my first and only audience member.

When I walked across the stages in Berkeley and Deerfield to receive my degrees, she was there, cheering for me.

When I gave my first speech, “Right Here, Right Now,” she was there, supporting me.

When I sensed God calling me to the ministry on a clear starry night at a California campfire, surrounded by foster kids, she was there, praying with me.

When I preached my first Sunday-morning sermon, “A Strange Response to Trials,” she was there, praising God with me.

When I stood on stages all over the world to try to be a voice for the voiceless, she was there, standing with me.

When people I thought I could trust betrayed me, and took advantage of me, and it hurt me in ways unimaginable, she was there, as a trustworthy friend to me.

When I wasn’t making any money, and I didn’t know how we were going to pay our bills, she found a job and supported us, FOR TWO YEARS, and NEVER, EVER made me feel like less of a man because of it- she was there, supporting me.

When I’ve been helplessly sick, bed-bound and burdened, she’s been there, never complaining, while nursing me back to health.

When, after giving my all to audiences, I’ve been empty and exhausted, unpleasant and unavailable, she’s been there, EVERY, SINGLE, TIME, praying for me, singing to me, loving me back to life.

So…after all the crowds are gone and the applause has faded and people have forgotten my name, as long as she’s by my side, I’ll be more than fine;

And, after my kids are grown and gone, and their lovely, joyous laughter that once filled our home lives only in my memories, one of the only comforts that will help me make it through the pain of their absence is the pleasure of her presence.

Yes, after all my hair is grey or gone, and my vision has blurred, and my last breath draws near, I’ll smile one last time, and give thanks to God, because my wonderful Alice was there, with me, for me, by me, and sometimes despite me, through it all.

Happy 15th Anniversary, Alice Scott, the woman who is, and ever shall be, more dear to me than my own heart's blood.

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