Growing Old Together, a Great Ride

Marking 57 Years – Life Revolves
I hope your holiday season has been going good and Christmas was everything you wanted it to be. As for Phyl and I, it was wonderful. The large amount of vittles and gifts were great, but the real joy came from being with family. Phyl’s only sibling, Jo and husband Claude, came in from Hot Springs for a few days. Granddaughter Amber was able to get away from Cleveland for a few days home. Not nearly long enough but just seeing her for a short time is a blessing.
 
She usually uses the time home to recharge, rest up and get ready to take on her heavy schedule as an anesthesiology resident. She has over a year left to complete her internship, unless she accepts a fellowship. She then will head out to practice somewhere, having spent 10 years preparing herself. Her dedication to seeing her ultimate goal become reality is a real source of pride to us. I often had my doubts back there when she was a Bridge City High student, but she never doubted that someday she would be a physician.

We spent Christmas with all of our family, with the exception of granddaughter Jenna, husband Robby and our two great-grandkids, Nate and Delilah. With us were our three children Mark, Allen and Karen, along with her three sons, Garrett, Sean and Collin and great-grandson Leland, Garrett and Brittney’s soon to be three-year-old son. We missed not having Sharon with us but her two boys Chris and Jason Menard, our step-grandsons, and their wives, Amanda and Chaunte’, came by. Jason served three tours in Iraq and is now based in South Carolina. We’re extremely proud of his service and his career choice. Likewise with Chris, who served a four-year hitch in the Army. Our nieces Brenda Wilber and Diane Bertrand, Jo’s daughters, came by and even Judge Carl Thibodeaux visited and brought a delicious, homemade, syrup cake that he made himself, using Steen syrup from Abbeville, the Cajun soil that built me.

All of the above is to make a bigger point and that’s how truly blessed Phyl and I are. We have a great family, all healthy and they bring much joy into our lives. We are also thankful for our many friends.

Our parents, all of our uncles and aunts are now gone. We are the old folks that they used to be. You see, 57 years ago this New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, we were married. A large family surrounded us when we set out to build our own. We miss them all very much. They were such an important part of our lives. The years flew by and they passed on, one at a time, until they were all gone. For Phyl and I, our family grew and surrounded us with love that makes everyday a joy.

Fifty-seven years ago, when we embarked on our life’s journey, we couldn’t have imagined what the future would hold. When you’re young you don’t consider those things; you just roll with the punches. You run into a lot of detour signs, make the best of the situation at hand.

We’ve had our share of roadblocks and pitfalls. We always played the cards dealt. That often made Phyl nervous. I gambled with life, never having a paycheck from an employer. I constantly rolled the dice on one venture after another. What made it more difficult for her was that she came from a very different background. A stable family life, a great stay-at-home mom and a dad who worked a regular job at Texaco that he would eventually retire from. She and her sister attended Catholic school and family meals were eaten together. They raised chickens, had a milk cow and raised a garden. That was more stability than I ever had.

Even though my lifestyle was different and it was foreign to her, she never once complained. She worried about income that always some way seemed to come, just a little late sometimes. We started life together, with me as a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman. For 57 years, we’ve bet on the income, and thank God, we did all right.

The real blessing however has been our partnership, our love and devotion to each other and the great family that has come from that love. Finally, now in our senior years, people don’t ask as often if that beautiful woman is my daughter. She’s still very attractive but most importantly she’s still the sweet, kind, loyal girl I married all those years ago. Happy anniversary honey.