Last Monday, the handsome thirty-five-year-old who swept me off my feet on July 13, 1965 turned eighty-four. To this day, my heart beats faster when I hear his key turning in the lock. His sandy-colored hair is now white and there is (a lot) less of it. He has a hearing aid (that he wears occasionally). His Parkinson’s Disease has slowed his walk and made his fingers less nimble. But his quick wit, his sharp mind and his willingness to put up with me make me grateful for every minute that I have him.
But somehow this birthday, this age, feels different. This is his last year to be “young-old.” At eighty-five, according to the medical literature, one becomes “old-old”. Individuals age differently, but we are both more aware than ever that we have to make each day count.
So I make plans to ensure that we always are looking forward to something wonderful. For example, we buy tickets for visits to our children months in advance. And we just re-subscribed to a music series that has its last concert in May, 2015. When you stop planning, you are giving up on your future.
With that in mind, I told Peter it was time to plan for a great birthday celebration twelve months from now. Knowing our kids, we need to get on their calendar way in advance. I asked him how he would like to celebrate his eighty-fifth. His reply, “By not celebrating.” Often Peter’s “no” response can be turned into a “yes.”
I’m working on it.