Living apart from your beloved entails a number of discomforts and frustrations, as many of you can easily imagine. Many days I wish I were at Margaret’s apartment to give her a back rub or fetch her a cup of tea while she reads, or just offer my shoulder on which she might rest her study-wearied head.

Today I wish I were down there so I could take her out to dinner, someplace romantic and quiet (that serves gluten-free vegetarian entrees and a good red wine), so I could laugh and reminisce with her, so that I could hold up a glass and promise all my energies to making the next twenty-seven years together even better than the first have been.

Happy birthday, Margaret — you give us around you such a brave example of seeing what’s right and pursuing it, of holding up under stress, of always continuing to learn and to teach, of offering your time and strength to so many others who need your gifts as a friend, a mother, a counselor, a scholar. Happy birthday, many happy returns, and let’s get together soon!

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