Today is my husband Ray’s 62nd birthday – such a baby – since he’s five years my junior. Every other year, we have gathered as a family for Ray’s birthday celebration, but this year Covid-19 has put a damper on a family party. Instead, we had a FaceTime party (of sorts) with the grandkids, Sarah and Gregorio in Pasadena, Liz and Ron in Ojai and Ray, Rachael and me in Los Angeles. This party, mind you, was about 8 minutes long, but that was long enough for everyone to see Dad and Grandpa and to sing Happy Birthday as I brought in the cake with candles. I think Ray was pleased though I know he would have preferred to have his kids, sons-in-law and grandkids right there with him for the celebration.
Rachael and I cooked yesterday in preparation for the “party.” Ray requested lasagna and a yellow cake with a chocolate frosting. His wish was our command. This evening, after the FaceTime chat and song, Rachael, Ray and I sat down for dinner and dessert. The food was good and Ray was happy. As soon as life returns to normal, the family will gather in Ojai at the orange grove to give Ray his big birthday present: a rented chipper and lots of help grinding up the trimmed limbs from all of our orange trees. We did this last year as well and though it’s hard work,even the little ones chipped in by dragging a few of the smaller limbs. Plus, the grove is beautiful after the fact with all those trimmed trees. A very satisfying (and practical) gift. which Ray loves.
As we face this Coronavirus pandemic together with no real clue of how the world will look in the next few months, we all are very aware of how precious our relationships are with one another. The kids want very much to protect both of us from any exposure they might bring and we are most appreciative of that loving kindness. We, in turn, want them to take very good care of themselves and the grandkids so we all can emerge from this experience just as healthy as we are now. Life feels a bit tentative right now as I’m sure it does for most people. I suppose we’ll see how we all fare and trust (and pray) for the best.
As Ray said to me this morning, “Well, for better or worse, you and I are in this together.”
I am grateful to have such a trusty and loving companion and do not in any way take that relationship for granted. I can only imagine how tough it would be if I had to face life without Ray.
Happy birthday, dear husband. You’re a good man and I’m lucky to have you. Let’s do our best to stay healthy so that we can enjoy many happy years – and many birthdays – to come.