I am sitting in my office on the occasion of my 53rd birthday; still puzzled by who put that monster number beside my curriculum vitae. This, especially so after the occasion of our recent high school reunion where we all were eighteen again. (For a magical series of moments one evening in November.)
I am listening to a cover version of the song by the late and amazing Stan Rogers. It is entitled “45 Years from Now.”.
Part of the lyric is. “I just want to see your smiling face 45 years from now.”
It is “our” song.
I am an unabashed folk music nut. It probably originates in my South Side Irish roots. I was just old enough (well, sort of) to be able to go to the Earl of Old Town in Chicago and ride the wave of the folk music wave of the 70’s. Steve Goodman (Chicago Shorty), John Prine, Bonnie Koloc, the Holstein Brothers, Jim Post, Stan Rogers. All of it was magic. They are the modern troubadours who brought tales of current events through song (with the approval of the King or the local lord, Earl Pionki). It is a time honored tradition that I hold close to my heart. Many happy memories.
I didn’t meet my soulmate until I was almost 30 years old and realizing that I had made a huge mistake and married a human potato because it was time to do it. Everyone else had. I had just given up hope that my “must be with” was out there. Time to settle. Not a good idea – for either of us. Time to settle? It seemed to be time to embrace the suburban/urban “dream” that turned rather quickly into a nightmare. That’s another story for another time. It took only the short time of about six months to find that I couldn’t swallow another day. I was on my way OUT!
And then I met him…
As of this moment, we are heading toward our twenty third anniversary. It is too small a number for the amount of love there is between us. We speak a great deal about “what if?”. What if we had met earlier? We wouldn’t have had the maturity nor time nor patience nor persistence to make it work. Everything happens in perfect time. It is a simple but very powerful lesson.
But it is Stan’s words that resonate with us the most and are quoted between us on every anniversary, birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day. You get the idea…….
“I just want to see your smiling face forty five years from now.”
That would make him 105 and me 98.
I still plan and hope to be chasing his cute tush around the extended care facility. Him in a wheelchair and me in a walker. Hand in hand.
If I were you, I’d bet on me. I waited too long to find him.
And I’m so very grateful for every single moment we have.
Even when he doesn’t close the cabinet doors. (How hard is that?)
But, I just want to see your smiling face forty five years from now.