Sunday, April 5, 2015

Birthday No. 70: It's Bea's day

     She is 70 today. Amazing.
     Yes, it is Easter Sunday and for us baseball fans, it is one of the great days of the year, Opening Day (well, for me and the Yankees, it's Monday). But for the Van Thyns, this is Beatrice's Birthday.
     "You don't have to write anything about me," she said Saturday. Of course, I don't. But sometimes -- not often -- I don't do what she says.
     And I'm proud of her. So are Jason and Rachel, and the two in-law kids (Ann, Russell), and I know the four grandchildren (Josie, Jacob, Kaden, Eli) are even if they're not all quite aware.
     Even Beatrice Annett Shaw Key Van Thyn -- born 4-5-45 -- will admit she is proud to celebrate her 70th birthday today.
     "The standard significant birthdays that everyone goes by -- the 20th, 40th, 50th -- didn't mean that much to me," she said Saturday, "but this one feels epic. I'm just so grateful to be here, and to have my health."
     Well, yes, there was colon cancer 13 years ago and then a recurrence three years later, and 30 years of smoking (and then to stop cold some 15 years ago). So good health is a major victory (as it is with anyone, at any age).
     She does go through physical discomfort occasionally, but she battles and she is tough ... and, well, we all make mistakes we regret. But here is what I love: Most days she has a young mind-set and a young attitude. With her, "younger next year" is more than a book title.
     She has become a workout enthusiast and she continues her yoga classes and home practice,  and she has encouraged her roommate to join the yoga classes. That's right.
     Honestly, we don't always agree. There is more than one stubborn, hard-headed, argumentative person living here. One of us in not quite as anti-football (getting there, but not giving it up yet); one of us is not quite the NBA/Mavericks fan the other one is; one of us doesn't give a rip about the others' favorite teams and sports.
      But we do love books and our book club, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra pops concerts, and jazz concerts, visits to the YMCA; we eat healthier and wiser (much of the time); we keep the apartment clean as we can; we are diligent about laundry and car maintenance; we do our grocery shopping together once a week ... and mostly we love visiting with the kids and grandkids -- in person, by phone or by Facetime.
       She loves her I-Pad and Google, and Facebook, and her new smart phone (finally), and Michio Kaku, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Deepak Chopra, Morgan Freeman and the Wormhole and -- for some reason -- Person of Interest. Also, Dancing With The Stars and Downton Abbey.
       She tolerates (barely) our cats ... most of the time.
       She is wise about money, and people, and doing what's right. She is planning for our future.
       She is my biggest booster, and my biggest critic, and I am hers. If I'm writing a blog (often) or a speech (rare), and I need help or revision -- or to be told it's too long -- I know who to ask.
        (I hope this isn't too long. But her view is going to be that anything I write about her is too long.)
        I love the way she is concerned about friends, about her sisters, her late brother's widow and all the families involved, and mostly the way she looks after her kids, their spouses and their kids ... and me.
        It's her 70th, and it's a great day. Happy Birthday, Miss Bea ... and many more.


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