I sit on the couch listening to the soft snore of my husband as he sleeps beside me. We have returned this morning from one of “those” procedures where the patient needs a driver. Those procedures come more often as we get older.
My spouse and I are 62 and 59, and I am just beginning to realize that we are growing old together. Each day we learn about someone’s parents we know who have passed. The entire Greatest Generation is disappearing before our eyes. More sobering yet, friends and colleagues our own age and younger die every day. Our Facebook pages are filled with news and memorials of such deaths. Each additional story we hear makes us sad, and more thankful for the time we have left.
We found a “life expectancy” calculator on the Internet. You can find anything on the World Wide Web. I, for one, am grateful to Al Gore for inventing it.
We answered the questions on the calculator and ran the numbers. We both should live well into our eighties. Our genes are hearty ones. But I do not take it for granted that we will live that long. I hear my husband’s breaths and am happy for each one.
He and I were both quite ill last year, the causes and natures of our illnesses very disparate. Unfortunately we were ill at the same time. It was the sick taking care of the sick. Fortunately, and with God’s intervention, I was able to care for him the days he needed me the most; likewise the days I was at my worst, he was at his most alert and loving.
We are blessed in that both of us have recovered, or are recovering. It was more than medical care that brought us out of the dark. It was most certainly our love and commitment to each other. When we vowed, almost 25 years ago, that we would stay together in sickness and in health, we meant it. Of course at 34 and 37 we did not know what futures would face us; but sickness comes to everyone. No one is exempt.
I will join my husband in retirement later this year. I can hardly wait. If we have another 25 years together, we will be blessed richly. But we will make the most of whatever time we have. I am looking forward to finding all kinds of things to do together. We will have more time for exercising at the gym, riding our Harley trike ( yep, an old people bike), traveling, swimming with our granddaughters, and just hanging out.
I’ve never been much of a cook, but I find myself cooking and baking more often. I am preparing for a new phase of my life. I hope we will eat in a more healthy manner when given the time to prepare meals. Now we eat out a lot.
My husband is an entrepreneur. He’s owned, managed, and sold small businesses forever. I don’t expect he’ll stop any time soon. Maybe I’ll join him in some joint endeavor; maybe not.
What I am certain of is that we will carry each other to doctors’ appointments and be the designated driver one for the other. We will take each other home, and sit side by side. Some days I will watch over him, and some days he will watch over me. And, God willing, we will grow old together. That is not a bad thing after all, for not everyone is given such a gift.
If you have someone with whom to grow old, count yourself fortunate and live completely in every moment.