Friday, July 4, 2014


Marty will be 60 this year on August 23.  Ten years ago 60 seemed a sure thing.  Nine years ago, after the first stroke 60 seemed possible but for the first time I had doubts.  Eight years ago after the 2nd stroke, 60, for Marty, seemed doubtful.  

Marty will hit 60 in August and we are going to have a party.  We are going to have a big party to celebrate something amazing, a life continued.  I asked Marty if she wanted a party, she said she didn’t, I said too bad, this is a big deal.  She is on board now and helping with the guest list.

I’m not a party planner but I have picked a date (real hard in that Marty’s birthday lands on a Saturday), a venue, some food and I’m working on an invite list….you’re all invited….all of you.

I’m putting together a pictorial history of Marty for this thing and I’ve had a big time going through old and new photos.  I apparently used to be thinner.  The funny thing is I never thought it so, I always thought I was a bit chunky.  Not so.

Marty never thought she was very pretty but in looking at our photos she was wrong.  I look at all of these old pictures and I see who she once was and when stacked together with current photos you see the evolution, you clearly see the youth, the beauty, the years and the disease.

There’s the picture of the two year old Marty which looks remarkably like our two year old grand-daughter Emma.  There’s the picture of 2nd grade Marty with the pixie hair cut and the 18 year old hot Marty with the short skirt.  The picture of Marty with her hair pulled back wearing my gray sweater sitting in front of a pile of books really takes me back to when we met.

The picture of Marty with a three day old Matt just blew me away.  I forgot about the photograph and I’m not sure I realized how beautiful it was.  There’s a picture of Marty with a one year Erin, a picture of Marty with Becky, a best friend,  in the desert outside of Las Vegas and several pictures of her with her chin resting in her right hand, a gesture that is and will always be a quintessential  Marty look.
There is a picture of Marty standing between our children with very short hair, with very little make-up; a scant five months after the first stroke almost took her life.  But, there she is standing there victoriously.  It shows a completely different life from the picture taken of her four months earlier, standing, a full head of hair, standing in the kitchen of friends, seemingly healthy and happy without any thought of what was to come.  Our lives shifted massively in the eight short months between photographs.

There are the whole family pictures, the holiday pictures, the snow skiing pictures, pictures in Spain, in London, with babies, with grandparents, all of the images running in a string of time.  All of them separately show a woman, all of them together show a story, a story of a life well lived, a story of a life well loved, a story of a full life, but most importantly a story that continues in spite of life itself.

I see in the pictures that separate what was normal and what is normal today.  I see in the pictures the fragility of life, I see in the pictures a woman who never thought she was very pretty but was and is actually beautiful in so many ways.   

It’s really a hell of a story, August 23rd, be there.

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