Today was my wife, Muri’s _____ birthday. Really? You thought I was going to tell you her age? A man does not stay married to the same woman for going on 47 years by telling the universe … or at least that small portion of it that reads Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog … her age. I have always made a big deal of her birthday. I don’t know where that particular instinct came from … I don’t remember my Dad doing so. Making a big deal used to mean buying extravagant gifts, at least extravagant by our inherited middle class standards. I am fortunate to have a very practical wife that, although she loves beautiful things like jewelery and designer purses, is most often too practical to buy such things for herself. Happily, I get to indulge her for holidays like birthdays and Valentine’s Day. However, as we push our way through our sixties (one of us having exited said decade), we find it harder and harder to find things we want for our birthdays. Yes, we are lucky but we are also less drawn to material things as we age. Making a big deal of Muri’s birthday can become problematic.
Time alone together in a beautiful place is always a good gift, s this year I booked an ocean view room in the lovely Blue Lantern Inn in Dana Point for tonight and made reservations at Cannon’s Seafood Grill, right next door, for dinner. The plan was to have an early lunch then drive to Dana Point and spend the day at the beach before checking in. How-some-ever, Older Eye’s blood pressure and blood sugar have been on the high side recently … and he has been having a peculiar ache in his right hip. At seventy-one (I have no problem telling you MY age), it is easy to imagine such maladies into end-of-life scenarios, so I called my doctor, the good Maximillian Garces, to make an appointment. Wouldn’t you know it, Dr. Garces was leaving on vacation and the only appointment available was today at 2:45. Muri was understanding but I felt perfectly ancient having to drag her to my doctor’s office on her birthday.
Of course, if I am anything at seventy-one, it is flexible. After a lovely lunch at Corner Bakery, we had time to spare, so we went to Jeweler’s Touch, the local premium jeweler where she’d seen a silver necklace that she’d been unable to bring herself to buy. Of course, we bought it and put a pair of gold earrings on her wish list for our anniversary next month, then headed over to the medical center. After almost an hour wait, Dr. Garces arrived in the examination room, suggested my blood sugar was marginal but OK, upped my blood pressure medicine, and manipulated my hip in every way imaginable without causing any pain, after which he said, I think it’s a strain of the abductor muscle. Let’s try ibuprofen and some physical therapy. I think that will do it. Hallelujiah. I’m going to live!
So, now I’m sitting on the patio of our ocean view room, writing this post. We had a lovely dinner at Cannon’s, looking down on Dana Point Harbor, reminiscing about our years together. It doesn’t seem possible that Muri was 18 when we starting dating, or that at 20, I could pick out the woman I’d spend the rest of my life with. Over dinner, we talked about how we were alike and how we were different and how our differences changed each of us. It was the kind of conversation that can only happen after many years of navigating life’s ups and downs together, of seeing how our similarities and differences blend to create something that we never could have created separately. Only a fool would say it’s all been easy but on an evening like this, I know … only a bigger fool would say that this isn’t heart of what a life well-lived is about.
Happy Birthday, Muri.