I fell asleep in the recliner last night, computer on lap, documentary playing on YouTube. I awoke and the first thing to come into focus was the clock. The softly glowing, green numbers on the cable box read 12:15. I panicked. My brain shouted, “We have to be at the restaurant at 1:00!” The second thing to come into focus was the darkness beyond the window. Always the math wiz, I was able to put two and two together and figure out it was 12:15 AM. Crisis avoided.
I spent the next 10 minutes dragging myself to the bathroom and on to the bedroom all the while mentally grumbling about clock makers in the United States not selling 24-hour clocks. My panic level would have been zero if I had awakened to 00:15.
“Why the panic?” you ask. 13:00 was the arranged meeting time for a large chunk of the family at the Old Heidelberg restaurant. We were gathering to celebrate my Aunt Edna’s 90th birthday. You read that right…90th birthday. Something like that, you just don’t miss. Aunt Edna is the de-facto matriarch of the family. The great thing about her turning 90 is she’s still in good health. Her husband is still alive. Neither of them needs more help with their daily lives than the other can provide. They set a lofty goal for the rest of us.
On July 2, 2012, Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, my wife and I will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. Aunt Edna started that tradition, too. We share that anniversary date with them, but we lag 40 years behind. Since I’m the math wiz, I’ll do the cipherin’ for you, Jethro. This year marks their 70th blissful, married year together. Yet, another lofty goal for the rest of us.
I’m just in awe. I hope I live to see those numbers with my mind and body free from serious infirmity. Here’s to Aunt Edna, a role model for the rest of us, may she see many more birthdays, anniversaries, and love before her example becomes just a beloved memory.
Don’t let the length of the video deter you. The birthday part is only the first four minutes. You’ll get to see the cake with Aunt Edna’s picture on it. After that, I just ramble on about life, the universe, and everything. You can bail anytime. It won’t hurt my feelings.