a quote from my favorite author

“The most solid advice, though, for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

-William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Me:  What do you want for lunch tomorrow, we have NO food.

Mark:  How about another sandwich?

Me:  It can’t be a sandwich like you had today.

Mark:  No, that’s fine.  How about just a cheese sandwich on a bagel?

Me:  You know that’s ALL it will be: cheese on a bagel.  We have no lettuce or tomato or anything left. 

Mark:  Well, you could put mustard on it to spice it up a bit.

Me:  You know I put mustard on the sandwich you ate today, right?

Mark:  Oh yeah, you did.  But you put the mustard on the bottom.

Me:  It was two slices of bread, dear.  You were holding it upside down.  

This is just one of the many moments in which I am reminded how much I appreciate having my husband in my life.  He gives me so many reasons to smile. 

This Saturday he is turning 50.  There is quite a bit of difference in age between us.  Mostly, we just try not to think about it.  I mean when we met, we had no idea there was such a difference.  He thought I was older, I thought he was younger.  We didn’t plan for things to be this way.

However, now that he is turning 50, I want him to know how much I like that he is who he is, and that he is where he is in life.  I want him to know that every one of his 50 years have added up to this moment.  I want him to know that I am grateful for every one of those years even if he sometimes feels like those years just make him, well, old. 

If not for those 50 years, he wouldn’t know how to make me giggle right before I fall asleep so that my sleep is deep, contented, and relaxed. 

And if not for each of those 50 years, he might not have had the grace to meet my smug attitude with a genuine, “What’s it like to be so perfect all the time?” the other night when I showed off my inner city-girl by getting us to a concert downtown without a hitch. 

Without his 50 years experience, who knows if that sparkle he gets in his eyes when he channels the fourth grade boy inside of him would be quite so charming?

On his 50th birthday, I am going to make sure I tell him these things.  I want him to know that I am so glad he will not only be 50 on Saturday, but he will also be 49, and 48, and 47, and on, and on, just like Sandra Cisneros pointed out in her story “Eleven.”  Every one of those years matters.  Every moment in his story was a moment that brought him one step closer to our story. 

His party invitation reads “Join us to celebrate the first 50 years in the Life of Mark {the rest is yet to be written}.” 

I feel so lucky to be his co-author! 


  1. I'm smiling because there's a big age difference between my husband and me too, and I remember his 50th birthday very well. The kids and I wrote 50 reasons why we love him. We had to keep the list to a manageable number. :)

  2. A lovely, touching post Christy. Your husband Mark sounds like a wonderful man, and husband to wonderful you! The 'sandwich' story shows him well. I know that whatever lands on the table, my husband never fails to say it's great, and sometimes it isn't, but I love that he says it. I like that connection to the Cisneros writing, so very right that all the years count as him. I hope he has a super day Saturday!

  3. This is such a beautiful post. It sounds like you were lucky to find him! It just made me smile as you listed just some of the things you love him for. Wish him a happy birthday!

  4. Love is beautiful. Age doesn't matter.

  5. Such a lovely post! It sounds like you two are really a perfect match! Hope he appreciates how special you are able to make him feel!

  6. The invitations are perfect. I love the glimpses into your relationship you shared. Your voice of love and appreciation shines through.

  7. I love your conversation start and the rest of it too. You are so right, he wouldn't be the person he is if he didn't have the wisdom of the years past. It sounds like a wonderful future for both of you. Have a great party and write the next fifty years together.

  8. I loved reading your post for many reasons. I loved how you wrote it, first a small glimpse into your conversation, but then all the small reasons why you love him. I think more people need to stand back & think about all the small things & appreciate them! I think in this busy, materialistic world people forget & I'm so happy to find someone else who loves their spouse & appreciates them for all the small, wonderful things that makes life wonderful! Enjoy celebrating his wonderful 50 years!

  9. I, too, loved this post for so many reasons. I like the dialogue between the two of you. (Though I kept thinking you might land up hitting the school cafeteria for lunch, but I see that's where it didn't go.) Second, I love how you expressed what you love about him and how much you appreciate him. Third, I think it's swell (yes, swell) that you called him your co-author. How very special Cindy!

  10. Mustard on the bottom!!! Your husband is the cat's meow. The beginning of your post - with the dialogue - is so fun and REAL. That's the kind of thing that keeps me reading. I read so much into how you two are together on this journey. Happy birthday to him and you in this great story!

  11. I'm with Wendi - mustard on the bottom! I will think of Mark the next time I make a sandwich with mustard. This is my favorite part "he will not only be 50 on Saturday, but he will also be 49, and 48, and 47, and on, and on". We are absolutely the sum of our parts. I am glad you get to celebrate an increasingly wonderful whole.

  12. I know parts were funny and I should have giggled, but I got teary instead. Very special. I'm so delighted that you have this co-authored life.

  13. What a sweet, sentimental post to your much deserved husband! Love the invitation inscription as well. Hope he has a happy, happy day and party! A life to be celebrated with lots and lots of smiles - with so much more to be written with his co-author! (Just love that!!!)