My husband turned 40 this week. A day I’ve been dreading since the moment we were married. I’ll tell you why – though it’s sad and silly.
I’ve always believed that my husband would die young. Before you judge, I’ve got reason.
For one, I operate under the mode of, don’t get too excited for fear of being disappointed. I know it’s not an ideal mode of operation. I do. It’s probably not even a good mode. But it’s there. Built-in. Part of who I am and have become. Sure it keeps me from having those crazy hyper-ecstatic moments I see some people have. But it also never leaves me super low either. I get that it’s a guarding mechanism and I’m sure a psych major could have a heyday with this all but for now, it’s just the way I work. Calm. Steady.
For two, his dad died young.
That’s it. Those are my reasons. See, silly. And sad. But regardless, I have lived our married life thinking that he may not be around until we’re old and gray and just sitting in rocking chairs holding hands in silence. Though we dream of it. It doesn’t stop me from dreaming of one day wearing matching track suits and going for walks together each morning. It doesn’t stop me from imagining him wearing suspenders and smoking a pipe. I see him next to me, me with my tight rollered perm and him with not a trace of hair left on his head and my heart feels so happy.
If we make it there. And Lord willing I hope we do! With all my heart and soul, I do. But what if we don’t?
Of course, if I could choose I’d like to be the one to go first and not have to deal with the dreadfulness of losing the only man I’ve ever been in love with. He disagrees. He thinks it would be better for him to go first because he doesn’t have the foggiest ideas about things like….well, how we run every. single. detail of our days. I’m quite certain that children’s planners would never get signed and they may get donuts for lunch every day for the first while and baseboards may never get washed or dentist appointments arranged. Not that he isn’t capable. He just doesn’t know these things. They’re my job. His is different. (I assure you I would be even less capable of accomplishing his. ever. 16 years of in-depth training couldn’t even get me to do what he does or know what he knows)
I’ve talked this over with my best girls over the years. They know this of me. And they promised to be there for me one way or another (I’m sure all the while shaking their heads at me thinking I’m crazy) and to support me in the year leading up to his 40th as for some reason, in my head, that was ‘the dreaded age’.
Now don’t get me wrong. It didn’t haunt me. Or kill my spirit. It was just always kind of – there. We lived life normally. Just with extra life insurance. (ha.)
But God did a really cool thing the year my husband turned 39. This was it. The year leading up to 40. The one I had been dreading for 14 years. He completely took these thoughts away from my mind. He gave me a peace about it. A calm. And not for one day of the last year have I dreaded his 40th birthday. I think that’s pretty awesome.
His birthday was this past week and we celebrated quietly as a family. We’re having a little shin-dig with some friends this coming weekend. That’s it. No trauma. No trips to the ER. Not even a speck of worry or anxiety.
So, here’s to another 40! I want to see you in those suspenders and smell the sticky sweet smell of pipe tobacco when you’re too old for it to matter if it causes harm. I want to come home from the salon with my fresh perm and for you to look at me, twirl me around and kiss me. Teeth or no teeth, that will be the big question!