Ten years ago, I wrote a column titled “Fifty reasons why I love her,” in honor of my wife’s 50th birthday. Today I add ten more reasons why I love my best friend, Cindy, as we are just days away from another milestone. You can count them if you like, but trust me, there are sixty. The verse fragments that are mixed in come from 1 Corinthians 13, the J. B. Phillips translation.
She is beautiful. In fact, Cindy is the best looking sixty-year-old I know. Her smile lights up a room and warms my heart. She has a great sense of humor, evidenced by the fact that she laughs at my jokes. Many people don’t (have a great sense of humor). She loves our 7 children and was their primary teacher for more than 30 years. Cindy is a great grandmother…or, a grandmother who is great. She loves to Facetime with our daughter and three granddaughters in Kansas. She keeps our five local grandchildren every Wednesday so that our sweet daughter-in-law can get a break. She cares for needs in the church, is the women’s ministry director at Antioch and excels in her work. Not easily offended, she looks for ways to overlook it when others do her wrong. Cindy sings or hums when she is happy, and sometimes when she is not. She went to Carolina, and though she doesn’t care about the teams like I do, she still cares…some. A little. Cindy helps me with my writing (except this column and the one ten years ago), and sometimes with my sermons. She is a great listener. She is able to give tough love when needed, and sadly I need it way too often. She is quick to forgive. Cindy reads voraciously but eats carefully. She is intentional about making sure her husband eats healthy, too. She loves good music, loves Holden Beach, and loves to go on long walks with me. Cindy does not notice when others do her wrong. She is slow to lose patience.
Cindy will cry during sad movies and laugh out loud until it hurts during funny ones. She is particular about keeping a clean house…but this does not paralyze her from having people over for a meal and good fellowship around the table. Cindy goes on a weekly date with me, and Saturday morning breakfast has become our favorite. We go right after ballroom; yep, I have been stepping on her toes for three years as I slowly learn to look like I am doing the waltz. Or the Cha-Cha. Cindy has good friends she loves and keeps up with. Her wonderful alto voice harmonizes beside me every Sunday morning. She has overcome her fear of public speaking, though it would not be in her top 60 things to do on her sixtieth. Cindy is faithful to pray when someone asks for it, and she does not keep an account of evil. She shares the joy of those who live by the truth.
Cindy is shorter than I am, which comes in handy on the rare occasion when we slow dance at wedding receptions. She loves hot tea, any time of day or night. She also enjoys her favorite coffee shops in town. Cindy keeps a clean house, and a clean heart. She studies her Bible faithfully and lives by what she learns there every day. She keeps up with more podcasts than anyone I know, always eager to learn from others. Cindy has a heart to give to those in need and is willing to go overseas on mission trips with me. She looks forward to the slower pace in the summer, and enjoys picking fresh fruit with her children, daughters-in-law and grandchildren at local farms. Cindy is not anxious to impress, nor does she cherish inflated ideas of her own importance.
Cindy runs three times a week to stay in shape and has run several 5K races. A few years ago, she ran her first half marathon. Cindy stands by me even when others are looking for places to hide. She loves to worship and loves Jesus more than anyone or anything.
Cindy is my best friend and after all these years, she is still my baby girl. Happy birthday, darling.