A couple of weeks ago I raised the question, “What makes something or someone beautiful?” Today I want to tell you about a beautiful woman I’ve lived with for 60 years, and who has a birthday today, 8/25/2023. I think that makes me a credible authority on what I’m going to write. I certify that what I say is reliable, dependable truth. And those of you who know this beautiful woman will shout a loud “Amen!”
The affectionate name that she’s known by is “Winnie.” When she introduces herself, she’ll say, “I’m Winnie — like Winnie and Pooh.” And yes, I can see some Winnie the Pooh in her!
On this August 25th Winnie celebrates her 84th birthday. Her body shows some wear and tear from birthing five children, coping with life’s stress and strain, and enduring a losing battle with the aging process — and putting up with me! And now she’s been saddled with Parkinson’s Disease. Quite honestly by the world’s standard of beauty Winnie isn’t likely to win the Mrs. America contest. Her slower pace, her dependency on her cane or walker and her physical tremors betray that her body is getting tired. It keeps saying, “Give me a break. I’ve faithfully served you for 84 years and I’m getting tired. My parts are wearing out!”
But I’m here to tell you that Winnie Wakefield is a beautiful woman. Those of you who know her know what I’m talking about. Over the years since I’ve known her, she’s left a trail of men and women who remember her because of that inner glow that radiates through her declining body.
You want to know what’s beautiful? Winnie’ loving heart. Just ask our children, grandchildren and now even our grandchildren. She’s always thinking of ways to bless all of us. We love to be around her because she gathers us to her heart in kindness, warmth, and loving care.
Winnie is beautiful in her faithfulness. You can understand how grateful I am knowing that my wife is trustworthy. In our six decades together, I have never doubted her trustworthiness and commitment to our marriage. That’s beauty personified.
Winnie is beautiful in her joyful spirit. She readily smiles, laughs, and reflects a positive view of life. In the early years of our marriage, I had to get used to playful pranks and mischievous undertakings that seemed to ooze out of her brain. It has added zest to our marriage and kept me on my toes! She even taught our children how to teepee a yard with toilet paper!
Winnie has the beauty of hospitality. She doesn’t just invite you into her house, she invites you into her life. She enjoys baking muffins or banana bread to give away. You will always feel her welcoming greeting and an invitation to put your feet under our table for a tasty treat. Just this week she worked hard to make a special treat for our son-in-law, Mike.
Winnie has the beauty of compassion. Often she will hear of someone who is going through a very trying time and her response to me is, “It breaks my heart to grasp what that person is going through.” And if some help is possible she will say, “We need to . . . ,” because she is ready to step in and provide physical, emotional or spiritual care.
Winnie is fun to be around. When we plan to invite someone to our house I think we’ll sit around and chat. Her typical response is, “Now what game can we play?” She loves to go to a Grand Canyon University basketball game and be immersed in the noise, celebration and energy of the game. (I’m happily sitting at home reading a book!). Right now she’s watching a preseason football game with Mike.
Winnie has the beauty of a woman of God in street clothes. What I mean is that my wife never puts on any aura of spirituality to impress others, but as one who has lived with her for six decades I see her devotion to Christ lived out in the daily events of life and know that her love for our Savior is genuine. One of her favorite events of the week is when four to eight ladies in our HOA gather around our dinner table to pray together.
Winnie has the beauty of a valued mother and grandmother. Every one of them hold her in love, respect and honor because of her compassion, kindness, self-sacrifice, and hands on love that they have experienced from her.
On this day I honor my wonderful wife for the life that she has lived before me, my family and friends, and the investment that she has made in all our lives. Feel free to send your greetings via email, Facebook, or whatever means you choose.
Happy birthday, Winnie!