When the rain started around 3 am, pounding on the house like we were under a giant faucet, Tom remembered he left his car windows down. A mad dash in the rain up the hill in the middle of the night isn't the greatest way to start your birthday.
I think the worst of it came through our area just as he left for work. I prayed for his angels to stick close to him while he maneuvered the wet highways in his little Suzuki Samurai, trying not to think of another wet May morning in 1998 that changed our lives.
He'll be working late tonight (still catching up from those days off for the wedding) and so we have no special plans. Last night he met the boys for beer and pizza after work, though. His kind of celebration, for sure.
Before writing this, I glanced over some other posts I wrote in honor of his birthday. I had to shake my head when reading this in Grateful for #53:
So I wasn't surprised when I asked him what he wanted for his birthday and he said: "Don't get me anything. Just pay off the credit cards."
I'm trying. I've made progress. Substantial progress. But it's a constant tug between needs, wants and finances, a battle we're intimately familiar with - we've been a mostly one-income family since soon after we married, when he quit work to go to college. We just switched places after our youngest was born.
Now that we're Empty Nesters, I've doubled my "paid" hours. The catch is, without a college degree, my pay ... and my choices ... are limited. I try to make up for both - the pay and the fulfillment - with my writing. Blogging brings in a little bit of money; my play and my book, not so much ... yet. I joke that they're our retirement plan - once they're finished, I'll make a million dollars and we can both retire. But the only way that can happen is if I write, and the trick there is finding time to write. Between the 'paid' job and life, there's not much time left without dipping into my sleep, and when I skimp on sleep ... well, I'm back where I started, full circle: Tom worries. About me.
But I haven't given up. If being broke and juggling finances for years has taught me anything, it's to be creative and frugal. Being frugal just gets so tiring. But Tom's worth it.
I feel bad that I won't be able to give him what he asked for this year, but I'll do my best for #54. I have a feeling he'll be asking for the same thing, anyway."
I shook my head because he still hasn't gotten this wish. But I haven't given up doing my part to see it come true by finding a job that will do more than slow the sinking. I know it's out there!
(Are you hiring? Contact me! I can do anything - seriously!)
Anyway, I'm wishing my dear husband sunshine on his birthday, even if it's only in his heart and not in the sky. A lightness and sense of hope that comes from faith. And I'm giving him all of my love, as always, and thanking God for letting me share my life with him for so long.
Happy 56th birthday, Tom!