Just recently, my wife, Jo, and I reached a special milestone in our lives. We celebrated our silver anniversary. That's right, twenty-five years together on the journey of our lives. Such an event is rather rare these days and, therefore, demands celebration in an equally special way.
For us, the question was how do we have such a celebration? Years ago, my mother sent my brother Greg and his wife, Anne, on a cruise to mark their silver anniversary, but we had no such aspirations for ours. We're doing better financially, but not that good.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, it seemed, an idea presented itself. I got a text message from my old college friend, Doug. He'd been president of the theatre group, The Vagabonds; he told us that Anthony, a fellow member, was going to be appearing in an off-Broadway musical called The Babies.
Doug suggested we get a group of the old gang together and meet in New York over the weekend of November 12the to see the show. Well, as far as Jo and I were concerned, this was tantamount to divine intervention. That is, meant to be.
We set to work. The first step was to buy plane tickets. Here we hit our first snag: money. Even though I’m back at work, in engineering, money is still tight. Airlines charge a mint for even basic tickets.
I had an ace up my sleeve, though, my writing. Often clients pay me via PayPal; I had a small nest egg tucked away there. We used that money and thus the tickets didn't come out of our main budget.
As we were going to be in the city for several days, we made plans to do a number of things. We got tickets for the Kelly Ripa Show, arranged for lunch with an old friend and made reservations to see the 9/11 Memorial. When the big day arrived, we had to be up long before dawn. We had an early, early morning flight, and airport security is a time-consuming affair these days.
We caught up on some zzzzzs on the plane.
Then, we hit New York City, the place Jo loved best. We're it possible, she'd move there in a twinkling. New York City is truly the place she loves most in the world!
Our hotel was opposite Madison Square Garden and no sooner did we check in that we hit the streets. First, was a very special trip, a pilgrimage of almost religious significance, to the 9/11 Memorial. For those who have never seen it, you truly should. It is deeply moving to stand upon that ground and there are insufficient words in my lexicon to express my emotions at visiting that shrine.
The rest of our time was far more joyous. Saturday, we met with Doug, Bill Phillips and the others to see and saw The Babies. It was delightful, worthy of a standalone story, which I will tell another time. That day ended all too soon.
Fortunately, we had so much more on our agenda. We went to the Museum of Natural History, ate a lot of fine food, including some first-rate bagels, and toured the city, including at night. Let me tell you, nothing compares to Time's Square after dark: The lights, the sounds, the colorful images. What made it truly special was to see all of it reflected in dear Jo's eyes and see the joy written across her face.
In that moment, lost in her eyes, time stopped, the hubbub of the city melted away, and we were the only two people in the world. It was a moment twenty-five years in the making, and made for the most special of anniversaries.
I look forward to the next quarter century with my beloved.
Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.
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