Molly awoke to the sound of Ted whistling while he prepared their morning tea in their little kitchenette.
She smiled to herself, wondering what her surprise note would be today. It was her 80th birthday. Ever since she had known Ted, he had given her a note on her birthday. It had all started when they first met. Ted had learnt that she loved poetry, and on her birthday had given her a book of poems. Along with the present was a note.
My dearest Molly,
Thank you for our special friendship that we share. I hope you have a splendid day today, and that the coming year will bring you much happiness.
“Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be.”
It is my desire to spend my lifetime with you, and to grow old together.
With all my love,
Inside the book of poetry, there was a beautiful ring, taped to the poem “Grow old along with me” by Robert Browning.
He had faithfully given her poetry quotes on special occasions and her birthday. She had kept them in a golden treasure casket, often reading them to friends, her children and their children.
“Good morning, beautiful. Happy birthday.” Ted said, bending down to kiss her.
Throwing off the blankets, she got out of bed. Ted had set the tea tray on the little table in their lounge. Opening the doors onto their verandah, she stood for a moment taking in the beauty of the river and the mountains.
Sitting down, she opened the note. Tears came to her eyes as she read.
“To me, fair friend, you never can be old.
For as you were when first your eye I eyed,
Such seems your beauty still.”
“Oh Ted, you are so amazing. Never once have you given me the same quote, you never will know how much I love you.”
“That I do, my love. I should be so grateful. Over the past years, you have taught me so much. We have weathered many storms, but you always have remained steadfast.”
A persistent knocking on their door interrupted further talk.
“Come in.” Molly called.
The door flung open and Brandon, closely followed by his parents came running through the door.
“Happy birthday Gaga.” Brandon shouted throwing his arms around her neck.
Ken and Lisa smiled at Ted, and bent over to wish Molly.
“Would you like some tea or coffee?” Ted asked.
“Not for me, thanks.” Ken replied. “I am off to the office.
See you all later.”
“May I please have some juice?” Brandon asked.
“Of course. Come and help me pour it.”
“I’ll join you in some tea.” Lisa said, smiling she picked up the note and read it.
Quietly she thanked God for her amazing parents. They had weathered many storms, yet had come through stronger each time. Five years ago, she and Ken had decided to extend their home, to include a flatlet for her parents. It had been a good idea and one, which had worked well.
Ted loved gardening. He spent many happy hours working in the little garden; he had created outside their flatlet. He also loved doing odd jobs around the home, and was forever finding something to do. His health was good, although Lisa could see he was beginning to slow down.
Molly loved knitting and reading. Baking was another hobby of hers. She and Ted had always led an active life and looked after their health. She smiled as she heard five-year-old Brandon chatting away to her dad. He had been their “surprise package” arriving eight years after his sister.
“Come Brandon, we have a lot to do today.” Lisa said, finishing off her tea. “We’ll see you later.”
Ted and Molly sat watching the birds in the garden. She was grateful for the fact they both still were together. She knew she was entering her sunset years. The hardships they had been through when they were younger had fine-tuned them both. Sure there were wrinkles, aches and pains, minor though when compared to so many others. Ted was still a fine looking man.
Looking over at the woman he adored, Ted’s eyes grew misty.
“I thank God daily for you.” He whispered.
“So do I.” She answered.
“Let our lives be pure as snowfields, where our steps leave a mark but no stain.” Mme. Swetchine.
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