Last Sunday my husband celebrated 80 years of life!
Reaching that milestone is cause for anyone to celebrate, but for us it was very special. Last March he fell and had emergency surgery for a brain bleed. For several days it was not clear just how much damage might have occurred. I was warned he might find it difficult to communicate – maybe not understanding what was said or understanding but not being able to clearly speak.
Although he spoke a little slower and sometimes had to pause as he searched for a particular word – within a month he was back to his normal self. For anyone it would be difficult to not be able to communicate but for my husband it would have been a total tragedy because he is one of those guys who can talk to a tree. Wherever he goes, he loves to talk to people.
At the grocery store where we shop he knows all the clerks by name. I’m trying to just get checked out and go home and he is asking one of them “How is your father doing after his surgery?” or “Did your daughter get off to college okay?” I confess I sometimes feel guilty because he clearly sees people as more than just someone to process his transaction – he see them as husbands, wives, children – people with their own needs and concerns.
For him to not be able to make that connection to others would have stolen much of his joy of life.
So Sunday we not only celebrated 80 years of life, but celebrated that he was able to have friends over and to share conversation and laughter with them.
In arranging his party, I had reason to really tease him as we shopped for supplies. I was standing at the deli counter waiting on my order as two older, but still very attrative women, approached the area to get in line to order after me. Being his friendly self, he immediately began talking to them and explaining his wife was getting food for his 80th birthday. They began talking and he clearly was his charming self. I heard one of them say, “You don’t look 80” – which is true. Then, the second one said “You really look good.”
Leaving the store I began teasing him that 80 or not, brain bleed or not, he still had that sexy charm and I was definitely going to need to keep a closer eye on him.
At the end of the day we are two very grateful people for the miracle God gave us and looking forward to another year of many happy conversations.