It's my friend's birthday today. Thanks to Facebook, I am reminded of several friend's birthdays. I've written about this friend before, and I think I've even taken the opportunity of a blog post to wish him a happy birthday. I'll have to check the achieves.
But this year, is a big birthday year for several of my friends. Some have already passed this milestone, the one my friend is experiencing today. It's one I'll be experiencing in eighteen days.
Today Matt turns fifty-years old.
Turning fifty has always held a fascination for me, and maybe it does for everyone. For me I remember looking at my father's headstone and thinking, he lived from 1924 to 1974--he was fifty-years old when he died. Actually, he never made it to fifty--he was about ten months shy of that mark. Half a century is a long time. It means my friend survived the childhood years filled with riding bicycles without helmets and taking long family trips to Idaho and beyond without wearing a seatbelt.
It means he survived those awkward teenage years (personally, I believe any child that survives jr. high school should get a monetary prize--something in the hundreds of dollars would be fitting...). He survived learning to drive a car, and dating, going to high school dances and having late-night video and pizza parties in friend's basements.
He survived his twenties when life got real, his thirties when life got more real and his forties when the perspective of life takes on new meaning as one realizes there's probably less years ahead than what's behind.
Through it all, Matt's been a true friend. We used to run around a little track painted on the black top at the local elementary school together. We ran track in jr. high and high school together. We roomed together in college and we've seen the highs and lows of each other through the years. He was even the Best Man at my wedding. We've talked about running, religion, girls then women (not necessarily in that order...) and, it seems, everything in between. And I miss those days and those talks.
Matt, I don't know what's going through your mind today, but I hope it's filled with good friends, delicious food and family that loves you. I wish I could be there to offer happy birthday greetings in person, but it's not to be. I'm glad I've known you for forty-five of those fifty years. Here's to at least that many more!