It was a Saturday, the 325th day of the year. Senator John Kennedy was on the campaign trail, Alan Freed, the DJ who popularized the term rock-and-roll was fired by WABC New York, MGM’s Technicolor version of Ben-Hur had just been released, and Jack Benny and Richard Nixon played their famed violin/piano duet. It was the first day of my life.
My grandmother helped pick my name, and it makes me proud when family tells me how much I remind them of her. This name is said to give me the possibility to excel in artistic, dramatic and musical expression. In fact, I have played the piano from a very early age, find great pleasure in the art of interior design, and my husband would say I excel at drama.
Left to right: a photo with my younger sister in 1972, Santa’s helper in 1976, and a photo at church with a boyfriend and his nephew, 1978.
I grew up a Preacher’s kid, and lived in a parsonage until I was 19 years old – under the very watchful eyes of my Dad’s congregation. My older sister and I hated it at the time, but that scrutiny, and my Mother’s faithful attention to how we handled it, taught us valuable life lessons.
One of my earliest memories was of JFK’s assassination. It happened the day after my 4th birthday and I was glued to the tv in what seemed the worst tragedy ever. I suppose it remained the worst tragedy in my life until 9/11 – and then, of course, there was this year’s election.
All through high school, I spent as much time as possible on the tennis court with my friend Jane, worked at the local bank after school, and played softball several nights a week. Tennis partners changed, as did the names of the companies where I worked, but this combination of activities went on until I was well into my 30s. It was just perfect.
Life sort of gets bracketed into these segments of time. There’s growing up, being a parent, maybe you have a little ‘me’ time, and then retirement. My husband and I have been in the retirement stage for exactly two years (i.e., 24/7 togetherness).
Photos with my son and husband on our Wedding Day, 1999
I’ll admit there was a re-adjustment to 24/7 togetherness. I was probably a little skinnier, and in better shape when I had the days all to myself.
He likes to read. I’d rather work in the yard. He likes to cook, and actually enjoys going to the grocery store. I mostly think of eating as a social opportunity. I could go for weeks without watching a minute of the news. He thrives on news. But, to borrow a line from the not too distant past, we are stronger together.
There have been fun days playing tennis, skiing, and unforgettable moments with family (bottom photo, left to right, my Mom, me, and my Aunt Olivia).
The things that make us so different from one another are also the things that make us so good together. . . and I happen to believe that holds true for all people, all over the World.
These first 57 years of life have brought more sweet treasures than tragedies, and I am a lucky person indeed. Here’s to many more happy years of together.