Today the love of my life is celebrating her 46th birthday. I have been lucky enough to be married to Margaret for at least one-third of these little shindigs. And I have been truly blessed to be part of her life for last 18 or so of them. Among the many truly spectacular things about my wife - other than the obvious saint-like patience she possesses (required for anyone who is married to an idiot) - is the way she embraces her birthday. She has never "not" celebrated the day. Instead she has relished it. She has cherished it. And she has enjoyed it.
This has been the roughest of years for my bride. Nanny died in August. Sue, my mother-in-law, continues to battle bravely against the ravages of cancer. Candidly, it is a battle that has had its good days and its bad days. And the worse that the bad days are makes it all the more difficult to remember the good days - although they are appreciated tremendously when they arrive.
In addition to all the stress that has been thrust upon her this year in her role as daughter and granddaughter, Margaret has also had to deal with enhanced stress in her role as mom and wife. Our children are not children any longer and while we have Suz still close at hand (I tell her occasionally "under foot" just to motivate her to stay focused on her own goals), Rob is only about six weeks away from taking up residence in the Mountain Time Zone. Her sense of pride in his work ethic, all he has achieved thus far and all he is positioned to achieve makes her heart burst with joy. The fact that the first stop on his career path shall be approximately eighteen hundred miles from home makes her heart burst as well - albeit with something less gleeful than joy. In the past few months, passing along the appreciation for the music of James McMurtry that I learned from my big brother Bill, every time she listens to "Lights of Cheyenne" her sing-a-long is choked a bit by her own tears. Old broken stars/They fall down on the land/And get mixed together/With the lights of Cheyenne. And she cannot see them from here, which means she will not be able to see him from here.
Today, Margaret begins the 46th year of her life. I am fortunate indeed that when it comes to sharing her life and her love, Margaret has permitted me to ride along. It has been a delightful ride thus far - one I am undoubtedly unworthy of. But if it is all the same with you, I would prefer that we keep that little nugget just between us.
Happy Birthday Honey- I love you. And I wish you nothing but happiness hopefully equal to what you give me.