Today is my bride’s birthday.
Today, April 12, 2021, Sally turns, ummm . . . something-something. We are apart today with nearly a country between us. If the country were Monaco or Liechtenstein maybe that wouldn’t seem like such a glaring distance. But the country is the United States and Philadelphia seems a world away from Los Angeles right now.
It used to be birthdays were sacrosanct in the O’Connor family. Wherever Sally was in her ministry travels she would be sure to be home in time to celebrate whomever’s happy day it happened to be. Eventually, as Dusty, Bonnie and Shannon (who can take all the time she wants before she desserts the people who clothed, diapered and fed her from birth) grew up, moved away, and began celebrating birthdays with people who didn’t clothe, diaper and feed them, Sally and I allowed birthdays to take a step back so the Lord’s work could be accomplished. Such was the greatness of our hearts.
Four or five years back, on Sally’s something-something birthday for example, Sally found herself somewhere in Europe leading an A Tour of Roses missions team. We make these concessions to each other now because I think we are secretly hoping the sacrifices will score extra brownie points with God on Judgement Day. That’s my thinking anyway. And believe me, salvation theology and Biblical accuracy aside, I’m going to need all the extra credit I can horde just to make it into the bleacher seats on Opening Day.
So today Sally, wonderful mother that she is, begins her something-something birthday holding her middle daughter’s hand as Bonnie goes through scary wisdom teeth surgery. I’m just not sure which is more scared.
Then she drives to the Philadelphia airport to return the rental car that has ferried her from stem to stern drinking in the Pennsylvania ambiance, now home to her precious daughter. She will take a shuttle to the airport hotel and rest her body from the stressful week of dentists and automobile purchases (Bonnie’s first car) and wisdom teeth (Bonnie’s mouth will never be as smart again).
She will grab a meal somewhere and then collapse with a couple good movies on Netflix or Amazon Prime where I hope a little voice in the back of her head hears me gently chiding “DON’T buy that $19.99 film because in two weeks it’s going to be $5.99 and a month after that it will be $3.99 and a month after that it will be free with the subscription.” But maybe she’ll pay the premium anyway because, well, she’s earned it.
In the morning she will return home where I’ll pick her up at LAX,. She’ll rest a day (haha), and hit the road the next for Northern California with me by her side and at the wheel.
Sally was born in 19-something-something. Today she is something-something years old. I would tell you her how old she is and how she doesn’t look anywhere close to that number, but I am chivalrous and far too much a gentleman to divulge a lady’s age.
If however, you choose to click the picture above and play a special song I have picked out for My Beauty, who am I to stop you? No really—WHO AM I TO STOP YOU?
Today Sally Klein O’Connor, mother of my three children and wife of 33 years and 11 months turns something-something. But really folks—she doesn’t look a day over something-something.