Reflections from the first 60 years

June 4, 1959 may not be a day that lives in infamy.  It does seem to be significant to me because it happens to be the day of my birth.  Here are some facts from that period:

  • Dwight Eisenhower was our president
  • The Battle of New Orleans by Johnny Horton was famous (I still like it)
  • Popular movies included “The Nun’s Story” (starring Audrey Hepburn) and “The Horse Soldiers” (starring Sigma Chi, John Wayne)
  • Real Madrid had just defeated Stade de Reims 2-0 in the European Cup final
  • The Chicago Cubs defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 3-2 in Philadelphia
  • We were one week away from the College World Series that was captured by Oklahoma State

On that day, I was born in Lincoln, Illinois, the third son of Robert (Dewey) Ryan and Helen Stroud Ryan.  My older brothers, Pat and John, were 7 and 6 respectively.

Time goes by quickly.  My mother in law, who recently passed away, shared this wisdom with me many years ago:

The days are slow, but the years go by quickly

As I celebrate this 60th trip around the sun, or in the words of my late, great friend, Allan Silvio Williams, the 60th anniversary of my nativity.

Let me get to the point of this post.  I think I have learned a few things that are worth mentioning, and here they area.  I hope they are of value to you as well:

  • Faith, Family and Friends are essential to happiness
  • Faith is something that can be strengthened, but it can also be weakened.  If you don’t practice by learning and praying, your faith will falter
  • Family is the foundation of everything.  A good wife leads to a happy life.  I have a great wife, Gena, so I have the firmest family foundation.
  • My sons, Daniel and Matthew, represent some of the greatest happiness I have received in this world.  Spending time with them throughout the years has been time well invested and having them poke fun at me now only makes me smile and laugh.  There is no replacement for investing time in my family.
  • Having never had a daughter, I have been blessed with two wonderful daughter in laws, Molly and Lauren.  They complement their husbands, Daniel and Matthew well, and they tolerate my “punny” humor.  They also root for the right collegiate teams
  • Friends can come and go, but I have many who have withstood the test of time.  We had a party last weekend and many in attendance have been trusted friends for 20 years or more.  I am truly blessed to have each one of them

I have no idea how many more birthdays I will celebrate, but I am happy with this one and blessed to have such fond memories of the past and strong relationships for the present and future.

Celebrating 60 years feels good.

Enjoy every day and spend it with those you love and those who need your love.