In the weeks ahead I will be writing about Richard Kaiser, Woodhaven’s Man of the Year, and HealthMax, Woodhaven’s Business of the Year.
As for Woodhaven’s Woman of the Year, I have to be careful how I write this column. Normally, if the subject of a column doesn’t like what you wrote they might snub you in the street.
For the sake of peace and happiness at home, I better do a great job with this column. My interest in doing my subject justice isn’t merely self-serving, it’s a matter of self-preservation.
But it should be a very easy column to write because this year’s Woman of the Year is my favorite person in the entire world, my wife, Josephine Mary Asaro-Wendell.
Over the past six years, she has honed her skill as a photographer, taking over 40,000 photographs of meetings, parades, storms and other scenes of everyday life around Woodhaven. Future historians will love the collection she has compiled, capturing what life is like in our community.
Over the past few years, first with the WRBA and then with the Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society, I’ve gotten my fair share of praise and attention. But the truth is that without my wife, I would never have been worthy of any of it.
We are a team. Whereas everyone else has two hands, we have four. Sometimes it’s hard to tell where one of us begins and the other one ends. It’s really just the two of us now (not counting the cats), and we spend so much time together that on the rare occasion I venture out alone to an event, the first question I get is “Where’s Joey?”
I’ve been asked on several occasions that since we spend so much time together, don’t we get sick of each other? Doesn’t spending all that time together lead to a lot of fighting?
We fight and argue like an old married couple which is precisely what we are. But we keep it private, which is a good thing for me because people would take her side because they like her.
People like my wife a lot more than they like me because she’s much more likable.
Her likability allows me to be a bit of a jerk at times and get away with it.
I can do or say some stupid things and people look at her and figure that I can’t be all bad if she likes me. This column will probably be a shining example of that.
One of the reasons she’s so likable is that she’s kind and sincere, and she works hard for others. She’s one of the first persons at meetings and one of the last to leave. She never disappears when there’s work to be done.
And beyond being a hard worker, she’s a very caring person and unselfish.
I’ve watched her work herself beyond the point of exhaustion to help other people and not blink an eye or seek credit or pats on the back like some people do. She does what she does quietly and with care.
And on a personal note, I watched her take care of her mother around the clock for over 10 years. And when my mom became ill two years ago, she was by her side offering love and support until the very end.
She consistently puts others first, and for that she will be honored as Woodhaven’s Woman of the Year by the WRBA.
But to me, she is my Woman of the Year every single year, until death do us part.
Tickets to this year’s gala are $70 ($30 for children), and include a full buffet dinner with soda, beer, and wine. If interested, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (718) 296-3735.