Part of my job when Marty has been hospitalized or when we have gone to a new medical setting is to introduce Marty to the providers. I really think that when the caregivers get to know Marty as a person, get to see Marty for who she was, who she is and what she has accomplished they see her more as a person than a patient. I have told her story countless times.
Marty was born in the far west Texas panhandle town of Dalhart. Her father was a meat packer and eventually a farmer and rancher so she really can cuss. Her mother was a stay at home west Texas wife who taught Sunday school in the Baptist Church so she recognizes guilt and sin.
Marty earned her Master of Science degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology at Texas Tech U where we met. Coincidentally this is the same university that just fired the winningest coach in their history for giving a young man two extended time outs (yes, I'm bitter). Marty took her degree and worked in various school systems working with young children as we moved around the state.
Marty eventually went back to school at Baylor University and earned a doctorate in educational psychology from Baylor University. From there she worked at a small foundation in Waco that worked with academic family practice physicians to improve their educational skills. She eventually left that job and began training and eventually began her own personal coaching practice. This was interrupted by the death of her father and finally the two strokes which occurred in April 2005 and January of 2006.
Marty is an academic, a talented musician (could play 5 instruments and sang in numerous choirs and groups), a practicing psychologist (not practicing anymore), wife and mother. Mom seemed to be her best and favorite calling as she took time out of her career to raise our kids. She was/is an amazing parent. She was involved, active, sympathetic and challenging to not only to our children but the other kids we met through our church and our kid's activities. As my wife she followed me around the state of Texas as we moved around the state following a career with TXU. She did not like moving, she never liked leaving anywhere, but she always supported me.
None of what I told all of these providers was intended to deify Marty. I am well aware of her temper, her idiosyncrasies and her sins. It just makes no sense to list them. Besides, much of what Marty struggled with in life, the temper; the sadness has been burned away by the strokes. Just know I know Marty was not a saint, she was a person just like all of us.
What I have always wanted to ensure is that all of the people who meet Marty today know what she accomplished and know what she did with her life. It's worth them knowing and it always makes me feel better to say it.