Monday, February 21, 2011

A Very Melancholy Birthday

Today is my 60th birthday, which under any conditions is a mixed blessing. On the bright side, I'm still around, alive and kicking despite my own "best" efforts and a family history of early heart attacks, and I get even more senior discounts for movies and restaurants.

On the other side, I'm 60.

I was going to post lots of photos from my birthday dinner and party last Saturday night, but we had to cancel the momentous occasion. My beloved father-in-law, whom I've mentioned several times as I've written about where I learned about small Texas towns, is dying. He is almost 93 years old and he's tired. His body is worn out and he's ready to be reunited with is wife of more than 60 years who passed away in 2005.

We understand that it is time and he wants to go to sleep and not wake up, but it's never easy to say goodbye. He's the family patriarch. When he spoke, we all listened. He enjoyed life so much, especially after retirement when he and Sudie, as we called my mother-in-law, went dining and dancing. They traveled to every state except Alaska, putting lots of miles on their big Cadillac sedan which was like a rolling living room.

No matter what happens this week, I know that Dad's stories and words of wisdom will be with me always. Thank you for allowing me to share this with you. I want to thank you in advance for your thoughts and prayers as I may not be able to comment in a timely manner. I know you'll understand. Please, tell your loved ones how much they mean to you because even after 60 or 92 years, life seems short and at times, unbearably fragile.


Karen said...

Words won't make it better but I hope that someday, somehow, you guys will be able to meet again.

Leigh Duncan said...

Victoria, I'm sorry your birthday is such a bittersweet occasion, but your lovely posts about your father-in-law are such a tribute.

Marin Thomas said...

Victoria, keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. And Happy Birthday...I heard 60 is the new 50!

Victoria Chancellor said...

Thanks Karen, Leigh and Marin. My father-in-law passed away at 8:45 this morning at his home. We will miss him forever, but he will always be with us. My birthday is postponed for a couple of weeks, but I will make everyone celebrate later. Marin, since I feel as if I'm 40, I figure I have a few good years left to appreciate those senior discounts. Thanks again.

Linda Warren said...

Sounds as if your father-in-law had a wonderful full life and that's a blessing. You have my deepest sympathy.

Linda(and Happy Birthday!)

Obe said...

Its never easy to say goodbye. But at 93 there are no regrets. I do remember my mother saying "My body is giving out but my mind is still young". His thoughts, his adventures, the story of his love will live on in your remarkable stories. Perhaps, he will be your muse. Smile and remember. As long as his name comes in conversations, he has not left. My thoughts are with you.