I've heard that a person's "golden birthday" is the birthday of the year number that falls on the day of the same number. For instance, my birthday is on September 5th, so my golden birthday was my fifth birthday. Next year my oldest son will be 17 on May 17, so that will be his golden birthday. Kind of cool, isn't it?
Well, last Friday Jack and I celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary on June 22nd. So I figure this was our golden anniversary. I know, I know--"Golden Anniversary" is a special term reserved for the 50th anniversary, but it seemed to me that the 22nd on the 22nd deserved special recognition, too.
So we celebrated. I have to say that I think we're better at celebrating things now than we were 22 years ago. Jack was in Manhattan working, so I joined him there. It was so exciting to fly to New York and to do very New Yorkish (or is it New Yorky?) things. One evening we went to the swanky bar at the W Hotel and then on to a very cool restaurant, Asia de Cuba. Another night we went to an early dinner at Bond 45 and then to the Lyceum Theater to see Inherit the Wind with Christopher Plummer and Brian Dennehy. (This was so exciting for me; I had never been to a New York play before. And yes, I kept hearing Christopher Plummer say, "And I am the head of the family von Trapp, am I not?") Then on the last day we went for a picnic in Central Park, went shopping, and went to another wonderful restaurant, Rosa Mexicano. Wow.
But the biggest "wow" for me, I think, was realizing that, as of this anniversary, I've been married half my life. A little more than half, actually, since I won't turn 44 for a couple more months. And while the things I did during the first half of my life seemed so significant at the time, it's really the things I've done in the second half that have been most important. It's amazing to have lived with someone for so long, to have experienced the birth of three children, the death of two parents, 10 moves (five different states!), three dogs, hundreds of friends.
There's a song from the musical RENT called "525,600 Minutes": have you heard it? It asks how one measures a year, which includes 525,600 minutes. Jack and I have now lived together more than 11,563,200 minutes. That's almost more than I can count. It reminds me of one of my favorite childhood hymns, a little song by Johann Hey.
Can you count the stars of evening
That are shining in the sky?
Can you count the clouds that daily
Over all the world go by?
God the Lord, who doth not slumber
Keepeth all the boundless number:
But He careth more for thee,
But He careth more for thee.
Can you count the birds that warble
In the sunshine all the day?
Can you count the little fishes
That in sparkling waters play?
God the Lord their number knoweth;
For each one His care He showeth.
Shall He not remember thee?
Shall He not remember thee?
Can you count the many children
In their little beds at night?
Who, without a thought of sorrow,
Rise again at morning light?
God the Lord, who dwells in heaven,
Loving care to each has given.
He has not forgotten thee;
He has not forgotten thee.