by Jeremy Bidwell
Those that know my wife Michelle would all understand the difficulty of explaining all of the ways she is wonderful in a single blog post. Michelle radiates kindness in every facet of her life, personal and professional. Her faith and spirit are amazing. The manner in which she loves and admires her friends, colleagues, clients, family and strangers is inspiring. We all have had examples of how to act in our daily lives, and Michelle is my example. She shapes my character constantly, and makes me want to be kinder, more forgiving and selfless than I am often able to be.
We are both Clinical Psychologists, which adds a unique and positive component to our marriage. We have the fortune of working together several days a week and I find myself excited for those days because of the absolute joy I get from simply knowing she is in the office next to mine. It also gives me a chance to see her amazingly gracious and empathic spirit lift countless people as they come and go from our clinic each day. I feel fortunate to be associated with a woman that does so much good for so many people.
Another thing I love about Michelle is her sense of identity and independence. We work together with the same title, but have minimally overlapping professional careers. Michelle is active in the world of eating disorder professionals, and helped to start a Midwest chapter for her professional organization. She is well known in 2 completely separate areas of Chicago for her work at Centennial Counseling and with Meridian Behavioral Health. She is fearless and humble, and one of the most capable and talented Psychologists I have ever met. I learn from her every week, and get simply smitten every time I am in some professional meeting and someone proclaims “Oh, you’re Michelle Bidwell’s husband”, and I instantly have street credit.
Michelle can make me laugh, regardless of the stress I am feeling in a given week. One of my favorite memories is hopping in my truck to race to work one morning, and seeing her hip-hop dance her way down the driveway in her pajamas to give me one last kiss goodbye for the day. That’s just how she is on a daily basis….silly, joyful, hopeful, radiant, beautiful, compassionate and strong. She will do just about anything to be near me (including spending the day in cold, dark murky lakes when I go diving, which is an astounding sacrifice). I wake up every morning desperately in love with her, and counting the minutes until we have time together that evening. Thank you sweetheart, for all you are to me and to those around you every day. You are a blessing to all of us and you are cherished.