Many people in our circle of friends have officially joined the 40's Club, my own DH included. (I am the baby of the bunch, but I am headed straight to the coveted club myself.) A very close friend had asked family and close friends to write a keepsake letter for his wife's fortieth birthday; these letters were put into a memory book and given to her as a present. Here is my letter to my dear friend of twenty (!) years.
It’s no wonder that infants have milestones recorded in weeks and months, and that grown-ups have theirs marked by decades. What’s exciting should be celebrated often: smiling, sitting, crawling, walking, eating solids, and talking, etc. What’s not exciting should be reminded less often: losing brain cells, failing physical and mental agility, forgetting your own age (intentional or unintentional), slowing metabolism, sagging of skin and body parts, and graying of hair, etc.
Those have nothing to do with you turning forty, of course.
In our teens, we thought we knew everything, but were fools nonetheless. In our twenties, we were hopeful and fearless, but broke and busy. In our thirties, we somehow gained ourselves offspring(s) and mortgage(s) and became slaves to them. I can’t quite say what our forties will bring just yet, but I suspect that it will be something entirely different and unexpected.
But I’ll be sure to write what our forties brought us in the letter I write you when you turn fifty.
Today, I wore the hair clips I wore in your wedding. Each time I see it, I think of you, and I think of our friendship for the past twenty-something years. Even though we live far apart and only get to see each other once or twice a year, each time we meet, it’s as if time hasn’t passed. What I treasure most from your friendship is your kind heart, your keen understanding, and your knowing smile.
I look forward to many more decades of friendship with you. Together, we will watch our children grow up, we will embrace what life has to offer us as we get older and wiser, and we will be there for each other as we reach the upcoming milestones of our lives.
I suspect the next milestone will be our need for reading glasses.
Happy Big Fortieth Birthday, Friend!
With much love,