Megan Serena Ruddock
Megan is my beautiful talented generous considerate hilarious kind wife. We have been together 12 years, and married for 10. We met when I was still a teenager and I fell for her immediately. Of course I did! She sent me an album that remains one of the best things I've ever heard and we talked endlessly. But what is remarkable is that she saw in my skinny lonely immaturity someone worth knowing. And every day since she has supported me in feeling that I could make anything of my life. She has made sure I felt loved, challenged me when I needed it, and ensured I never got too big for my boots. She is my best friend and the best thing that has ever happened to me. I don't tell her that enough.
Megan is the bravest person I know. She moved to a whole different country by herself and has built a life here. And she has the bravery to stand up for what she believes in regardless of what it costs her. She's driven by this moral code to be considerate to everyone, to do no harm at all, and to support and empathise with those who need it most. She cares for everyone, from the snail on the pavement in the morning to the person pushing everyone away. She's a champion of the disadvantaged, the very epitome of what a good Christian should be.
Megan isn't afraid to be herself. She drinks absinthe at lunch on accessions. She often describes herself as simultaneously 10 years old (she just started collecting Sylvanian Families) and 70 (last year she took a course in Ancient Hebrew!). But she is also 21 and 39 and 47 and 53 and every other age there is. I can't list all the courses she had taken or signed up for. She is a polymath: everything interests her in some way or another. She is the self-development Queen, there is nothing about her she isn't prepared to interrogate, challenge and improve if she doesn't like what she finds. And she's quite probably the best quiz team player in the world!
Megan is also hilarious. No one I have ever known has such a sly, black humour, as she does. She is brilliant at word play, and she's self-deprecating and finds humour in herself at every turn. When she laughs her whole face comes alive and her eyes sparkle. She has this mini-smile wrinkle above her top lip that appears when she smiles - it never ceases to make me happy. I think her laughter is the best thing in the world. It is explosive and all encompassing and feels like freedom.
We have fun together. She is the creative genius behind Cheers (possibly the worlds most comprehensive stuffed animal society). She invented Dogwarts (stolen by Aardman as a joke in Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Wererabbit), and basically wrote the penguin and lemur characters for Madagascar. To our cats she is the sporty chaser, the trick trainer, the treater. She scoops them up and gives them medicine. And they love her for it because somehow they know she would never do anything bad to them.
Sadly life isn't always as kind to Megan as she is to it. She's had a pretty tough time these last few years with people not realising how infinitely capable she is. With people treating her horribly. And that sucks for her, it really does. But what I find remarkable is that she has this amazing capacity to take a bad hand and keep fighting. Nothing lessens her belief in people, her hope that tomorrow will be better, or her desire to turn today around.
Megan shows me what goodness is. She's so much better than I am. And I would be nothing without her. I love her with all my heart. And I thought you - and she - should know this.