Week Three: Kathy Benson

 

Describe your best friend. How would your best friend describe you?

I feel blessed and lucky to be married to my best friend Bob.

We met through mutual friends in September 1996, when we were seniors in college at the University of Illinois.

Bob is an accountant and has worked for the same law firm for twelve years, which is also how long we have been married. He has the best work ethic of anyone I have ever known. Being able to provide for his family is his most important priority in life, something I know he learned from his own father. Bob can clean and fix almost anything. He is kind, generous and extremely loyal to his family and friends. He is a good listener and a man of few words, but as I once heard someone say, “that is why they mean so much.”

Bob is funny and he uses sarcasm a lot (which took me awhile to get used to and appreciate). He loves to laugh and enjoys watching comedic television shows and movies, as well as stand up comedians. Bob will often quote movie lines in our day to day conversations. He doesn’t like to sing or dance, unless he has had a few beers and we are at a wedding. Then he will humor me and dance with me for a few songs. If the DJ plays “Brown Eyed Girl” sometimes he will even lip sync/serenade me with the chorus, since I am his brown eyed girl.

Bob doesn’t like to read or write much, unless he has to. Thus he rarely reads my writing, unless I ask him to. This bothers me sometimes, but I learned awhile back that we can’t expect or ask anyone in our life to be all things to us. That is the beauty of having more than one friend or family member that we are close to. We can get different things out of each of our relationships and likewise give to those loved ones different things than others in their life may want to or be able to.

Bob is adventurous and loves to water ski (both sololum and bare foot) and ride his jet ski. He likes to watch and play sports. Bob is a big fan of the Chicago Bears football, White Sox baseball, Bulls basketball and Blackhawks hockey teams. As an alumnus of the University of Illinois he also enjoys cheering for the Illini football and basketball teams. Bob used to play basketball and workout a lot, when I met him in college. But these days his favorite sport is probably golf, something we like to play together, but don’t get to do nearly enough.    

Bob has a strong faith and is a practicing Catholic who attended 12 years of Catholic school. He tends to lean toward the more conservative end of the political spectrum, though is he willing to listen to and discuss varying arguments and points of view related to most controversial issues. Since I tend to be more liberal when it comes to politics and social justice, you can imagine how that makes things interesting for me and my best friend.

Bob’s children adore him and get very excited when they hear their daddy arrive home from work each weekday. Bob likes to play and goof around with our kids. He also tries hard to teach them and to model the morals and values that he believes are important in life. Bob loves all of three of our children very much and I was especially moved on the day that our middle child/baby girl was born and died in 2008 to witness the depth of his love during such a bittersweet time in our life.

As for how Bob would describe me…

Bob would probably use a lot of sarcasm, but deep down I know that he loves me and our children more than anything. I think he would say that I am passionate about life, family, friends, faith, writing, photography, dancing and exercising. Bob sees me as someone that is fun to be around and to hang out with. He likes that I am a very optimistic and inclusive person.

Bob teases me about how I love to network and try to connect people from different areas of my life who have common interests. He might also talk about how I reach out and try to help people, especially others who have been through infertility and loss. I believe that some of the things that Bob loves most about me are my enthusiasm, thoughtfulness, creativity and compassion.

I know Bob is proud of the work that I do ministering to other bereaved parents and those struggling to build their families, but sometimes I do it at the expense of not focusing enough time and energy on the housekeeping side of my duties as a Stay at Home Mom. As an idealist and a bleeding heart, I often get distracted by trying to save our little corner of the world and pursuing my passions, instead of cleaning our bathrooms often enough and trying to add more variety into what we eat for dinner.

I think Bob is proud of the mother that I am to our children. He knows that being a full time mom is not easy and likes the creative and fun things I do with our children when they are not in school or participating in other activities. He knows how hard I try to teach them to be thoughtful, kind, generous, honest and communicate well. I think also Bob appreciates the things I do as his wife to try to make his life easier, more comfortable and entertaining.

Bob and I have learned a lot from each other over the years. I think he would credit me with helping him to learn how to communicate more effectively, especially when it comes to dealing with conflict in our relationship and with others. I believe I have helped to open Bob’s mind about a lot topics that before meeting me he saw from a very different perspective. Likewise, he has done the same for me. Robin William’s character in the movie Good Will Hunting says that “your soul mate is someone who challenges you.” That describes so well what my best friend and I do for each other.

Describe your best friend. How would your best friend describe you?

________________________________

Kathy Benson is a bereaved and blessed mom, writer and group fitness instructor trying to live mindfully and find joy in the journey after dealing with secondary infertility and loss for five years. She lives in Chicago, Illinois with her husband and two living children.

Kathy blogs at Bereaved and Blessed. You can also follow Kathy on Twitter @BereavedBlessed and her Facebook page.

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13 thoughts on “Week Three: Kathy Benson

  1. Pingback: Thursday’s Voice: Week Three

    • I have learned to appreciate sarcasm when it is not hurtful, like you said. I even use it a bit now and then. I am glad that is how you see Bob based on this post. Thank you for reading and commenting Lori. 🙂

  2. so very sweet! My husband definitely challenges me, too, and is an engineer … so I completely understand the communication gap sometimes! What a gift to have someone like that in your life. 🙂

    • Aww! Thank you for sharing your experience, validating mine and for your kind words Justine. I agree, my husband is a great gift to have in my life.

  3. Kathy, I loved this post. Bob and Darcy have a lot in common: the work ethic, the love of movie quotes and stand-up comedy. He doesn’t like to read my blog, either.

    I love that you chose your husband as your best friend.

    • Thank you! I am glad you enjoyed it!

      Darcy sounds like a great man/husband and fun that our guys have so much in common. I know that some relationships work well when both partners are more alike, but for Bob and me it’s the balance between our personalities that seems to work for us.

  4. Sarcasm… sounds like Bob and I would get along very well. I enjoyed learning more about you and your family through this post. Thanks for sharing!

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