Seventy-five years old.
When Jon and I were first married he wanted to get life insurance so when he died I’d get some money. But it was so expensive I told him I’d rather go on vacation with him every year than have the money when he was dead.
Seventy-five years old is the age Jon’s friend Carolyn took her own life. It was a calculated decision on her part, she wanted to die before the illnesses of old age took over her body. He admired her decision and often talked about 75 years old being a good age to live until.
Today Jon turned 75 years old and, well, he just doesn’t seem so much older to me than when we first met.
Sure it’s a gradual thing and I know we’ve made adjustments along the way, that things aren’t exactly the same. Jon has his medical issues, there some are things he can’t do anymore. Like be out in this heat, tube down the Battenkill, and walk in the woods with me.
But the really important things, are actually even better than they were when we first met.
Things like how we still like being together. Or supporting each other in learning about who we really are and who we want to be. And of course, encouraging each other in our creative lives. We’re also constantly adjusting our lives, figuring out creative ways to handle the day-to-day.
And the troubles we’ve had have brought us closer together.
I think being honest with each other has a lot to do with that. Not that we always are. But eventually, we always get to the truth. And with honesty, as difficult as it can sometimes be, it always makes us feel less burdened, and more appreciative of each other.
It brings us even closer together.
Jon’s a wonderful talker. Something that I’ve craved my whole life. Someone who would really listen to me. Someone I’d be able to have thoughtful conversations with.
It was through our conversations that I first fell in love with Jon.
The only way that’s changed is that it’s even easier for us to talk to each other now. I still can get defensive and there are times when we just can’t see what the other person is trying to say, but there’s more trust. More of a belief that eventually we’ll works it out.
For me, it’s all of these things together that create the feeling called love. Love which is so many things such as a swelling in my chest, a smile at just the thought of Jon, and what I feel when our bodies touch.
So I’m really glad the Insurance company was wrong and Jon didn’t decide that seventy-five was old enough.
I don’t know what will happen tomorrow or next year or ten years from now. But today Jon told me that this birthday is important because he feels it’s not the end of something, but the beginning.
I’m not surprised. Jon is always reinventing himself.
This summer his new flower garden is teaching him about photography as well as flowers and how they fit into his and other people’s lives. I don’t know what the winter will bring, but I know for sure that when the flowers die, he will find another passion to spark his creativity and learn from.
Evolution is the word that comes to mind when I think of Jon. Not a straight line, not always getting it right, or never making mistakes.
But forward movement, driven by curiosity, determination, and a love of life and the people, animals, and world around him.
10 thoughts on “Seventy-Five Years Of Jon”
Happy Birthday to a man we admire. A totally beautiful message about marriage. Maria. Jerri Chaplin and Peter Herman
Thanks Jerri and Peter.
This is a beautiful post, Maria. About you….. your life, your heart and how Jon has helped you to become the person you are today , through his love, openness, and the communcation between both of you. I can feel the love, just reading it!
The portrait is very special. And what you wrote is a testament to your love and the extraordinary people you both are.
You know all about that kind of love Sharon.
I think this is the best photo yet of Jon. Look at the love in his eyes. This cap style is perfect on him, too!
What a lovely description of a rare and healthy relationship! Particularly the penultimate paragraph (“not a straight line…”). You are both very fortunate. Wishing you many more years of evolution together.
Thank you Anne.