Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What Turning 50 Means to Me

Today, I'm turning fifty. The Big Five Oh! I always imagined it would be a momentous day, a milestone of sorts.

Turning twenty was such a milestone. It was then that I finally accepted that I was an adult. It wasn't all joyous. I joked that it was my mid-life crisis. I loved being a teenager in the prime of my life. Twenty didn't mean I had grown old, but it did mean I had grown older. My twenty-year-old brain figured old would come later, say, when I turned fifty.

Turning 50. Fire hazard?
In some respects, the fifty milestone is exactly what I expected. I'm grateful to be alive and acutely aware that a half-century of life lay behind, rather than in front, of me.

The fifty mile-marker comes with some costs. Things don't work as well now as they did years ago. Joints creak and pop. Muscles complain. The brain learns more slowly and forgets more frequently. Hair goes gray or goes away. And eyes refuse to focus on anything within two feet of them.

But the milestone also comes with some perks. My two children and three grandchildren are perks most priceless. I've accumulated fifty years worth of wisdom. I have a home and a good job with great coworkers.

I'm not old enough to have gone mountain climbing with Moses or talk about the weather with Noah, but I did see the end of the Vietnam War, the Berlin Wall come down, Challenger explode, Watergate unfold, President Reagan shot and all 444 days of the Iran hostage crisis. I saw the rise and fall of disco, CB radios, and Netscape Navigator. I witnessed the birth of Nasdaq, MTV, Microsoft, the first test-tube baby and a cloned sheep named Dolly. I saw pocket calculators, personal computers, cell phones and the internet itself invented--not all by Al Gore. :-)

I experienced the bliss of finding the perfect wife and the inconsolable anguish of losing her. Maybe that's what it took for me to finally accept that flesh and blood are not immortal.

Please be safe!
I've seen a lot, done a lot, survived a lot. I've achieved successes and learned from failures. Thanks to modern medicine, I've even defied death.

So, as expected, turning fifty is still a milestone. Yes, in some ways I really do feel old, but in other ways, not so much. I've learned to cherish not only each birthday, but every day. They're all gifts we're not guaranteed to receive.

Turning fifty means I'm alive. And come bliss or heartache, I'll accept that gift and keep living it as best I can.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Happy Birthday, Angel Baby


As with the card celebrating what would have been our 29th anniversary, I give to you this one celebrating your birthday. And being the well-trained husband that I am, I'll not broadcast your age.

Whether it be by cosmic accident or divine grace, we found each other. From the moment we met, a beautiful friendship evolved. And from that friendship came even more.

2013-12-13 Birthday Card Cover

Within months, I had no dream, no goal that didn't include you. We committed ourselves to each other completely, till death do us part. We became one, two halves of a whole, a partnership in every sense of the word.

2013-12-13 Birthday Card Inside

I then experienced for almost twenty-nine years the bliss of loving the perfect-for-me wife. We gave each other all we had and did so without reservation. We loved. We cherished. We thrived.


Our reward came in the form of a wondrous marriage. We were as inseparable as wet and water. Only death had the power to sever our bond.

It's your birthday, Myra, but every birthday you had was a gift to me.