Charley and I have a tradition. In August, just around our anniversary,we get into his convertible, put the top down, proceed to the turf fields, park the car, put the seats back and watch the Perseids meteor showers. We point to the sky and yell “Wahooey” every time we catch sight of a falling star and then we make a wish. We keep our wishes simple: health and time to share with each other. (Although, this year, I did throw in a wish for a literary agent. Writing, editing, formatting, illustrating, publishing and marketing a book is demanding. But I digress……..)
This week is our fifteenth wedding anniversary. We married late in life, so there was a lot of catching up to do and we make the most of every day we have together. When he was diagnosed with aggressive cancer eight years ago, the importance of time seemed to be looming over us each morning we woke, throughout every day, and in the darkness of the long nights. Holding hands, which we’ve always enjoyed, took on new meaning. Everything took on new meaning. And so this anniversary, the first one we are celebrating since he’s been declared in remission, is a special present for both of us.
I’m not a card or gift person. Even before we were married, whenever he’d ask what I wanted for a birthday, an anniversary, Christmas or any special occasion, I would always say “Time”. (Although, I bugged him for quite a while to get his ears checked, which he finally did one Valentine’s Day. The hearing aids are still working fine, I might add. And now we can both be in the same room watching TV. So, in a sense, I did get more time together, even with that gift. He used to joke and tell people he loved his new hearing aids because he could turn off the one closest to me whenever he got the urge. Gotta love ’em!) And so, last Thursday, around midnight, we grabbed a blanket and jumped into his apple red convertible.
This is his second convertible since we married. Before we were married, I asked him if there was anything he’d always wanted (besides a fantastic catch like me). He assured me I was all he needed. With a little more coaxing he confided that he’d once dreamed about having a red convertible.
When we arrived in our spiffy, new car with the top down for the wedding reception, his friend Mike looked at the automobile asking incredulously,”Is this your mid-life crisis?” Charley, without skipping a beat answered, “Oh, no. Clare’s my mid-life crisis.” Gotta love ’em!
And so, as the first hours of Thursday approached, we drove down our road to sit in the darkness and watch the stars streaking through the heavens. We pointed and screamed and held hands. It was a lovely night and we filled it with our laughter. It started me thinking. He’s been talking for years about taking an astronomy course. He loves science.
As I said, I’m not a card or gift person, but this year I am giving him a surprise: membership in Skyscrapers www.theskyscrapers.org It’s a group founded in 1932 as the Amateur Astronomical Society of Rhode Island by Dr. James Smiley of Brown University. The society meets at Seagrave Memorial Observatory and has a restored 1878 Alvan Clark refractor and some incredible telescopes. They have lectures, discussions and trips and they lend out portable telescopes to members. I’m getting a membership for me, too, so we can share his love of astronomy. He’ll be reading this as soon as I post it. He’s my biggest follower so, Happy Anniversary, Honey!