Paths have a beginning . . . a singular point in time where the path begins . . . . as do lives. That instant where we leave the warmth and safety of our mother’s womb and fight our way out into the world and all that it holds for us.
Humans mark these special days – our individual special day – our Birthday Day – with loving words, hugs, kisses, meals, presents . . . allowing us to know that we truly make a difference in the world, that we matter, that our life has meaning for ourselves and to others.
Today is one such day . . . it is my wife’s Birthday. We have had 47 of them together as a “couple” and 41 of them together as husband and wife. She’s not changed . . .
She is kind, loving, quiet, smart, intelligent, she has a soft soul, and iron will, a quiet being, a Christian’s heart, a loving mother and she has been patient and loving enough to be my wife.
We have marked our path together in many ways but today I want to share with you about the beginning of our path – what I consider the first “official” day of the next 47 years of our life.
We had noticed each other towards the end of the previous school year – the beginnings of “something” . . . and then the school year ended. At the time I worked at a local mom and pop grocery called Hubingers as a carryout/stocker/checkout kinda guy. And I noticed that nearly every day “she” would come and buy an orange push-up. A few moments chatting and I found myself waiting for the next day . . . It was a long summer.
The fall term of 1965 found us in some shared classes and with more opportunities to become friends. By homecoming we were dating and after putting on a sport coat and tie for the dance it felt like we were a couple.
There are phrases that have long since been lost to history and one that held sway for this blooming relationship was “sweet 16 and never been kissed” . . . she was 15 . . . . As corny as I am sure it looks to today’s youth – heck, even to those of 1965 – she remained so until the night of her 16th birthday. January 17th, 1967.
We’d returned from our birthday date. I’d like to tell you I remember the where’s and what’s of that date. I don’t. I do remember the ending of the date . . .
We walked into the side door of her parent’s garage only to find a profoundly affectionate cat waiting. With purrs and rubs Susie was pretty much forced to bend over and pick up the cat – Puny – up for a bit of a snuggle. And that’s when it happened . . .
With the cat between us, we leaned together and shared our first kiss . . . it is one of the single most intense memories of our life together, our very beginning . . .
I looked for a card to share my feelings and, as has been the case for all these years, none come close. She’s my soul mate, my wife, my friend . . .
And today is her Birthday Day!
Happy Birthday Kid, I love you with all my heart!