I’m scarcely able to complete a thought lately, what with budget season at school and our only daughter getting married in eight days. Add to that my husband’s birthday tomorrow–and it’s a BIG ONE–and I’m about at my limit of events and details to consider.
In the few hours between school and the Chorus Concert the other night, I ran to the local pharmacy to pick up his birthday card. I stood in the card department at Inkley’s Pharmacy, looking at the “age” cards.
What I felt is hard to describe. I stared at the cards with the big number 50 emblazoned on the front and I thought, “how is this possible that I’m buying this card for my husband?” Seriously, how did this happen? Didn’t we just have my mom’s surprise fiftieth birthday party last week? I know all of the cliches about time flying and gone in the blink of an eye and best time of your life–but REALLY? FIFTY?!
When I look at my husband, I don’t see fifty. I see the boy who took me to 10 Minute Oil Change or through the car lots and then to dinner on a date. I see the man I’ve traveled and camped and boated with for almost thirty years. I see the man who held our beautiful babies and raced to the ER with me every time one of them (Tallon!) injured something and I see the man who was a better parent than me from day #1. I see the man who has absolutely, unconditionally loved me every moment of our marriage. I see the man who patiently answers every off the wall question I throw at him and who, maybe second only to my mom, sees the very best in me despite my numerous faults and mistakes. I see a guy who is fiercely loyal to his family and friends and who never backs down from a fight. I see the partner who encouraged me to try a million different things including skiing and water skiing, wake boarding, snowmobiling and roller blading and all the time saying, “you’re not that uncoordinated”. And inside I still feel like the same girl he met when I was 18 and he was 21 and we were just two kids at college.
I know I’m not the first person to feel or write about these things. I know what I’m feeling is normal and inevitable. I’m not regretting getting older. Heck, life has just gotten better and better with every year so how could I regret all that’s brought us to where we are now? I just can’t help remarking on it all–this incredible, wonderful, big, beautiful life we’ve had together. I want it to go on and on.
FIFTY?! Never been better Derek. In my head and heart, I see the same man, the one I’ve loved for a thousand years. Happy Birthday!