February 15 is Jim's birthday. Lke Christmas birthdays, it may not get all the attention it deserves being the day after Valentine's Day.
It has been a year of reminders of aging. Jim is now the oldest sibling in his family with the death of Hank in December. Jim's mom's memory is failing so badly that she didn't remember it was Jim's birthday. When I quizzed her as to how old she thought he was, she agreed to around 50.
In looking over old journals this week I read of several health problems we both had that are now just faded memories. At one point I wrote that I was 55 11/12 years old and falling apart with various aches and pains. I wondered if I would make it three more years to match the age that my mother passed away. Well, I have done so and gone many years beyond that. JIm, too, is in good health. The pharmaceutical industry would never flourish on his needs.
We spent his birthday in our usual ways. I practiced the organ, did the laundry, and prepared the birthday meal. Jim and I got the groceries together as we always do on Saturdays and then, even though it was his birthday, he spent the afternoon reading a doctoral dissertation in preparation for a defense coming up soon.
Jim's sister Terri and her husband Ken were kind enough to bring Mom to our house for dinner. It was a treat for us not to make that bi-weekly trip to Kalamazoo. We had a good meal and a pleasant visit. We did get to be like the "old folks" at the end of the evening, reminiscing about our first real jobs and the paychecks--$5,750 for me in 1968 as a teacher in Grand Rapids, Michigan and $13,000 for Jim as a professor at North Carolina State University in 1976.
I am thankful for Jim and pray for his good health and ability to be productive. I hope we can have many more years together.
Don't ask Jim when he is going to retire! Who will tell him he should? Bill Svelmoe was supposed to tell him when it was tine to retire from church softball. Bill has long since retired from softball--and Jim is still hoping that they will be short a man and he will be forced to leave the record book on the bench and take his place on the field!