Sam Radford

April 28, 2021

Perfectly imperfect

My wife, Rachel, turned forty today.

She brings so much love, joy, and light into the world, and it only seems right to share a few words to celebrate her life.

I’ll start by saying that one of my favourite things about Rachel is that, no matter what is going on – whether personally, professionally, or globally – she never loses hope. She is a beautifully hopeful person, and that spills over into all those who encounter her.

And that hope is just the start. Countless people will testify of the support she’s given to them. She regularly puts the needs of others ahead of her own – to the detriment of herself at times. But she sees need and does something about it (usually before I’ve even spotted it).

She’s not all about others though. She’s driven too. Professionally, in her role as a speech and language therapist, she never stops moving forwards, adding to her skills, developing her talents, pursuing new goals. She hasn’t settled when it would have been very easy to.

Rachel is a wonderful mum to our two girls. They don’t have a single doubt about how loved they are. She’s patient and kind and generous with them – and they are very lucky to have her as their mum. She makes me a better father too. (Makes me look bad at times though!)

For all the love she has for me and the girls, there’s no denying that friends are what keep Rachel sane. She’s a people person; loves spending time people – whether friends she’s known for years, or people she’s just met. She comes alive in the company of others, lighting up rooms (or, more recently, gardens) wherever she goes.

Her family continue to be the foundation and bedrock that sustain her. The love and respect she has for her parents is deep and ongoing. Who she is today is a wonderful reflection of where she has come from. Her wider family too mean so much to her and she treasures those roots.

And then there’s me. I mainly feel lucky and blessed to have ended up sharing a life with Rachel.  But no, despite everything I’ve written above, she’s not perfect. She’ll be the first to admit that. Okay, maybe second. Perfect or not though, she is wonderful and inspiring, passionate and strong, wise and playful, loving and kind. And those imperfections? I could try and spend the next forty years trying to improve her. Or I could just accept, like the character Robin Williams plays in Good Will Hunting, that those imperfections, they’re the good stuff. They’re what make Rachel Rachel; perfectly imperfect. 

So I’m grateful. Grateful for the gift she is to my world, but grateful too for the gift she is to the whole world. 

The world is a better, brighter, more hopeful, more loving place for her presence and all she radiates.