Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Big Birthday

 My husband Bill turned 80 on November 16.  It has been several weeks of celebrations, cards, gifts, phone calls and guests.  Emily and Jeff came for the official party, a potluck for 18.  The house was crowded and lively and the food superb.  The actual weekend of the birthday I surprised Bill with a cake at the coffee hour after church.  It gave his many admirers there a chance to congratulate him on this milestone.  And in the meantime our dining table is covered in cards and the phone has been ringing non-stop.

Bill is in excellent shape for his age-I often jokingly attribute that to his marrying a younger wife who won’t let him rest on his laurels.  He exercises, eats well, reads voraciously, teaches a few private ‘cello students and travels.  All good things to keep the mind and body in good shape.  However, 80 is daunting- no ifs, ands or buts, one is firmly planted in old age by this time.

This has been a hard birthday for me; a sobering one, in fact.  I found myself unable to join in the festivities with a light spirit and instead felt more like an observer on the outside looking in.  My usual optimism about the future suddenly included a twinge of fear and foreboding.  I feel like a corner has been turned and the path is now somewhat different.  And my footing is not so sure.

I have been married to Bill for 30 years, over half of my life.  It is a good life, one that I hope will continue for _____ years.  I don’t know how to fill in the blank anymore. 

No comments: