It is Thanksgiving, and we have so much to be thankful for. Adam and Stacey are having a baby, and Sue and I will be grandparents!
Many years ago when I was in grammar school, my mother’s Aunt Sadie died, and we went to her funeral. Above the coffin was a beautiful arrangement of flowers in the shape of a rocking chair. Seems Aunt Sadie always wanted a rocking chair.
On the way home, my mother was in a stew. She said: “Why didn’t her children buy her a darn rocking chair? She would have enjoyed it far more than that stupid flowered rocking chair hanging over her coffin.
“Remember, son, if you want to do something special for someone, don’t wait too long. Before you know it, it may be too late.”
It seems that folks always talk so nicely about family and friends after their passing. It is too bad that they seldom let loved ones know exactly how special and loved they really are. In other words, tell them when they are still alive and kicking, and can appreciate it.
That brings me to my best friend of 43 years. That’s a long time, but I remember the instant we met. We were at a fraternity/sorority party in 1969, and although you were “slightly” inebriated, it was a magic moment.
Many dates and parties followed, and when we decided to wed, I thought it fitting to ask your parents for your hand. Upon stating my love for their daughter and asking for their blessing, I promptly turned and fell over your mother’s new vacuum cleaner. Another magic moment?
Over the ensuing years, you have remained my best friend, and I am proudly yours. We have seen a lot of life together. Some was bad. We have buried friends, parents and a child.
Nearly all was good. I have witnessed the birth of our children and your strength and resolve to see me through the mayhem of the labor and delivery room. I wouldn’t have made it without you!
Our days were then filled with diapers, car seats, portable cribs and midnight feedings. Okay, I was a “little” lax on the diapers and midnight feedings, but soon they were walking and talking and potty trained. Before long, they were in school, and there was no better mentor, coach or cheerleader than you.
We always found time for horses, Disney World, 4-H and the Catskill Game Farm. Camping with the kids will long be remembered, and Keuka Lake will always have a special place.
My grandmother proudly said that her children were friends and at any gathering, she knew her sons and daughters would sit together. We have raised four great children, and you can say the same. Soon, we’ll be grandparents, and your love will reach another generation.
We have seen the sunrise from Mount Haleakala, the sunsets over the Pacific, and the view from Pike’s Peak. We have broken down in Death Valley, ran out of gas in the Sierra Madres, and sunk a boat in Lake Otsego.
Together, we found our way through war-ravaged Croatia, navigated a blizzard in the Alps, and swam with the rays in the Caribbean. We have crossed the Mississippi and dined on the Danube.
We’ve seen the evil of Auschwitz and the angels of St. Peter’s. We walked the streets of Tombstone, the bricks of Red Square, the trail to Vlad’s Castle, and sat out Hurricane Bob on Martha’s Vineyard.
Together, we have seen the shadows of Stonehenge and the hues of the Grand Canyon. We ate alligator in Key West and saw grizzly bears eating salmon in Alaska.
We drove the Ring of Kerry, the Moors of Scotland and the forests of Sweden. We’ve seen Gettysburg, the Alamo and the Little Big Horn. We’ve traveled from Times Square to the Golden Horn, and love South Hill Road in Worcester the most.
Together, we have made money and lost money, but through it all, we stood side by side and pulled in the same direction. Many long nights were worked and chances taken, but businesses must be run and bills paid. We understood and never looked back. With each passing year, I love and admire you more!
The best deal I ever made was: To have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance.
I have loved you since our eyes first met, and I shall love you until I close mine for the last time.
As Lord George Lyttleton once said, “How much the wife is dearer than the bride.”
Thank you for saying “yes” so many years ago!
Chuck Pinkey is the owner of River Valley New Holland Inc. in Otego. He can be reached at email@example.com. The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of The Daily Star and its editorial board.