I’m beginning this on the Amtrak somewhere near Philadelphia. I might be finishing it this evening in our room at The Leo House, a Roman Catholic Guesthouse in Chelsea, run by the Sisters of the Congregation of St. Agnes, an Order based in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Jonnie Sue and I are spending a couple of days seeing more of New York on the occasion of my 75th birthday yesterday and our 55th wedding anniversary this Thursday. (Yes, we were both “child brides.”) All last week I kept having a thought I’ve never had before an approaching birthday, and which I never spoke out loud due, I’m sure, to some sort of superstition. It was “If I make it to Monday, I’ll be seventy-five.” I had no reason to think I wouldn’t, but as one lives more of life, one becomes ever more mindful not only of its fragility under the illusion of strength, but even more so of the suddenness with which it can take a turn for the worst. None of us is assured of tomorrow or even the next five minutes.

Birthdays are often occasions to reflect on the blessings of our lives. And those evenly divisible by five seem even more so. At thanksgiving dinners I am often given to mentioning anesthetics and modern dentistry among the things I’m thankful for, and even more generally, for the scientific research that underpins modern medicine. It seems that every issue of the “Science and Health” section of the Tuesday issues of the Washington Post chronicles some new discovery about how our bodies and the environments in which they exist function.

Closer to home, I’m grateful for being as healthy and able as I still am, which I own entirely to my darling wife who when we were first married and having children delved into the world of nutrition and has never stopped learning more and more about it and incorporating what she has learned into how we live. I vividly remember becoming an instant convert to her new knowledge, which began with Adele Davis’s book “Let’s Eat Right to Keep Fit.” At the time, I was experiencing night blindness when driving home from work. That is, when I would pass an oncoming car, I could not see for a few seconds. It was long enough to be worrisome; long enough to be on top of a car in front of me or into a curve and not know it. I was aware that it was a change; that I had not always been that way. And at the young age of about 30 I was writing if off to old age. How fatalistic can you get! Well, in a chapter on vision, Adele discussed vitamin A, and night blindness as a symptom of a vitamin A deficiency. “What do you have to lose?” I thought, so I took some A caps and, wonder of wonders, in just a matter of a few days, I noticed that when I passed an oncoming car at night I could see the road ahead instantly. There was no night blindness at all. It was powerful proof to me that nutrition matters and that supplementing what has been refined out of our food is crucial. And Jonnie Sue kept abreast of all the latest findings, eliminating harmful things, like hydrogenated oils, from our diet and moving more and more exclusively to organic foods. Her nutritional approach to nursing me through severe burns and broken bones resulted in near miraculous rates of healing. Thank you, my dearest. You are the best thing that ever happened to me.

Well, gentle readers, if you have read this far, thank you for indulging me in these introspections at this milestone week of ours. Remember St. Paul’s words about love in his letter to the church in Corinth, and love one another. Jesus said to. It’s better that way.

Ron Hicks, Parish Verger, St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, Washington DC, 23-July-2013

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8 Responses to Seventy-five

  1. kathy Culpin says:

    Dear Ron

    Many happy returns to you and happy travels to you and your Lady. Lovely blog. I always look forward to them and take time out to read all the ‘Daily Cup’ offerings. You all have such diverse writing styles. They are a treat. I wonder if they could ever be put into a published book? Kind regards, Kathy Culpin

  2. Jo says:

    Blessings on your house and your travels — these are bless-worthy milestones!

  3. sallybcraig says:

    Blessings on you both, and happy, healthy birthday, dear Ron.

  4. Susan Muncey says:

    Wishing you a happy birthday and congratulations on so many wonderful years of marriage!

  5. Ron–I’m sure that the vitamins, organic foods, and all the menus helped, but–and it’s a really big but–I think the biggest thing that helped, saved, healed, and preserved you is not what you ingested but the love you found in life. Thank you so much for this and for all your wonderful Daily Cups.
    John Lawrence+

  6. Miles, Christian says:

    Ron — what a fun and enjoyable cup. Well done!!!!

    Christian T. Miles, CFA
    Executive Managing Director, Principal
    Cassidy Turley
    2101 L Street NW, Suite 700
    Washington, DC 20037

    T 202-463-1139 C 202-302-1390 F 240-747-2291


    This e-mail and attachments (if any) is intended only for the addressee(s) and is subject to copyright. This email contains information which may be confidential or privileged. If you are not the intended recipient please advise the sender by return email, do not use or disclose the contents and delete the message and any attachments from your system. Unless specifically stated, this email does not constitute formal advice or commitment by the sender or Cassidy Turley.

  7. Linda V says:

    Dear Ron – It really IS better that way! Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary!!!

  8. George H. Stevens says:

    Warmest regards on your 75th, Ron, and on your and Jonnie Sue’s 55th anniversary, tomorrow.
    We always enjoy your well written cups. Many Happy Returns! — George & Marge Stevens

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