Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy Birthday, Harry

Today I'm happier than ever that I'm retired and this post isn't about me at all. But the fact is that if I weren't retired, I couldn't pamper him and I wouldn't have presents for him, and his birthday would pass almost just like any other day because I would have been working and then so exhausted because of the weather and the season that when I got home, I would have been too tired to celebrate something so important to me.

Instead, this year he woke up to this. Then I made his all-time favorite breakfast. Then (and this is unheard of) he got a nap.

Him: I'm so tired I can barely keep my eyes open.

Me: It's your birthday. Take a nap.

Him: I'd still be tired if it weren't my birthday.

Me: Yes, but after sleeping 'til eleven and only being up for two hours, you'd never get away with a nap if it weren't your birthday.

See? Pampered he is!

It all started 64 years ago. I know his mom was hoping he'd be born before Christmas and I think he was late. I know she had an OB appointment that day and had to take the bus to get there and back. And I think she'd just gotten home when she URGENTLY had to go back. They got there in time but without a moment to spare. And that's probably the most he's ever imposed on anybody in his whole life.

This is a good time to say thank you to his late mother and father. They raised a boy who turned into a beautiful, gentle, kind, and considerate man. And I was the lucky girl who stole him from them. Notice in the next picture that he's already helping me with everyday tasks.

Here we are in New Mexico expecting our first child.

As in every marriage, we've had our ups and downs. Years ago he borrowed a phrase from Steve Martin, "life is a roller coaster" and he's gently gotten us through some of our hardest times by reminding me that it's true. And, lucky him, he hasn't changed much over the years. This picture could have been taken 30 years ago or last year. If the date weren't on it, anyone would have a very hard time figuring out when it was taken.

And this picture shows him with a brand new grandchild. It doesn't matter which one it is because he had the same love and affection on his face with every one (even his great-grandchildren).

I have to include this representation because he does love his golf so much and he never loves it more than when he's with his favorite golf partners, his sons (and sometimes maybe a grandson).

We've done a lot of traveling over the years and always try to get a picture at one of the rest stops. He's a great traveler and one of the safest drivers you will ever know. I often thank God for that, especially when we're traveling in dicey conditions, and I think we've done them all: wind, torrential rain, blizzards, and glaze ice.

I have to include this one because it shows what a good sport he is. He has an amazing sense of humor and usually delivers his one liners in a quiet, understated way but he sure can make me laugh. And his letting me take this picture shows that he's not afraid to laugh at himself either.

I'm including this picture to show that he's selfless and helpful. The pond is kind of my baby but that doesn't mean he leaves it to me. He's great about helping with all the dirty work of cleaning and all the fish husbandry that goes with it.

Does it seem like this post is about a lot of people - his parents who did such a great job raising him, his children and grandchildren that he loves so much, and lucky me who gets to have been married to him for 42 years? That's because we're all part of his life and part of his birthday because he's so very, very loved and important to us.

So, yes, I'm saying Happy Birthday, Harry. But I'm also saying thank you for being such a blessing to this large, happy family that you've loved and cared for, for so many years.

Here's hoping for many, many more!


  1. Happy Birthday Harry! I hope it's a wonderful day.

  2. I just LOVE this post. So many times it seems like Dad is sits back and is so quiet and is hardly noticed, so it is nice to read a whole post all about him. I really loved it. It sounds like you made sure he had a great day and he really deserves it! Happy Birthday, Dad! We love you!!!

  3. Aw, how sweet. He sounds like a wonderful man. And you are a lucky lady for sure. I love your back in the day posts. It is so very obvious how much you love your family. Happy Birthday, Harry!

  4. Happy birthday to your amazing husband! He is a good man, that's evident from the amazing children you both have raised!


Gentle, strong, kind or true, I'd love to hear what you have to say.
Short or long, it's up to you, your comments and thoughts really make my day!