"Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be."
Frederick celebrates the start of another year today. He told anyone at work who asked that he is now a speed limit. He's 35 today and in two days will cross off the last item on his Things To Do Before I'm 35 list. He's happy, content and settled down. He has a wonderful partner, a good job with a decent income, a house, a loving group of extended Reinhardt-Miller chosen family along with his blood relatives and in-laws and life is good. There are other goals he's met along the way, such as doing the Ride for the Roses and various volunteer opportunities with Meals on Wheels and In2books and other organizations. He does many, many small things for his friends just to make them smile. He also does many, many small things to his friends just to get a laugh, even if it's embarrassing. We love him anyway, even though he is worse than me at keeping secrets (outed me at a happy hour). Freddy is one of those special people that walks into a room and instantly attracts attention. He is the life of the party. He always makes me laugh. And so it's deserving that the last goal, the one that will be checked off on Thursday is a biggie. It is adoption day for his son, Adrian. What better birthday present than to finalize the paperwork to make Adie his forever child?
Freddy has been my friend for 18 years. I'm lucky enough to work with him. (It's a nifty work benefit.) We've seen each other through fun times and not so fun times. We've counseled each other on bad relationships (ditch him!) as well as good ones (keep him!). Freddy has tried to help me learn to stick to a budget, to change my oil, and to always stop for gas before it gets down to a 1/4 of a tank (to no avail). I don't know what I've taught him, but weve both learned that sometimes it's true that love is all you need.
Our relationship has survived solely on the basis of one thing: we love each other. It's not that we don't have things in common because we do. It's not that we don't enjoy each other's company, we do. It's not that we don't care enough to make time to spend together outside of work, we do. It's just that in our busy world it is so easy to lose a friendship simply because you don't commit to it. You don't give it the attention it deserves. Life gets in the way, hectic schedules become a hodge podge of everything but spending time with each other. We make time for our friendship, for our short walks outside of work when we vent about life's problems, for Family Nights (even though I don't show up often enough), for our morning chats before the work day starts and for any time we need to emotionally lean on someone. Could he survive without me? Sure. Could I survive without him? Sure. Do we want to? Hell, no! And that's why all you need is love. Our relationship gives life flavor and zest and meaning. I despair of ever getting him to stop telling people I'm older than I am, but hey, it doesn't really matter.
So, a big happy birthday hug to you, Frederick. And may the coming years bring nothing but happiness, sunshine and laughter. 1.4.3.