Birthday Thoughts

Someone told me once that the thing that attracted you the most about your loved one is often the thing that drives you the craziest after 10 years of marriage. The thing that first attracted me to Bill was his sense of humor. He could — and did — see the funny side of everything.

It’s true that very often in the 30 years that we have been married, I have wanted to scream at him, “Just take this seriously for a change! Not everything is a joke!” (And yes, with the exclamation points.) But the truth is, almost everything has a funny side to it. Though I love to laugh as much as the next guy, I tend to see the serious side of almost everything. However, the sense of humor that drew me to him from the get-go has gotten us through a lot of difficult times.

Seeing the light side of things seems to be a McLain trait. I’m basing this on 30 years of experience with my husband and his three children. Years ago, I saw a cartoon that hit so close to home that I cut it out and it has been on my refrigerator for probably 20 years. It even made the cut, and is now on my fridge in our Wind Crest apartment. The husband says to the wife, “You look worried.” She answers, “I am. I try to worry about many things because most of the things that I worry about a lot don’t actually happen.” He responds, “All that worrying can’t be good for your health.” She say, “It isn’t. But don’t worry. I worry about that too.”

Boom. That’s Bill’s and my relationship in a cartoon moment.

Today is Bill’s birthday. He is 80. I wouldn’t necessarily mention his age, but he has been very forthright about it. He isn’t loving turning 80, but he is approaching it with his usual ease.

We all have an age that we consider old. Usually it’s 10 years older than whatever age you are. I think for Bill, he’s afraid it’s 80. He has said again and again, “I can’t believe I’m turning 80. I don’t feel like 80 years old.”

I’m pretty sure for that wonderful husband of mine, 80 years old won’t be any different than 79. He will still be smart, funny, kind, honest, sensible, imperturbable, tenacious, hard-working, and full of love. Full of love for his kids, his grandkids, his siblings, his family and his friends.

Parkinson’s disease has made him quieter, a bit slower, and somewhat more forgetful. But it hasn’t made him lose his sense of humor.

Happy birthday to Bill, who is still the man of my dreams.

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