My Aunt Lillian and Uncle Walter are celebrating their 73rd anniversary next week. That’s a pretty amazing number! I cannot imagine a couple more connected than my aunt and uncle. They have held each other together well into their nineties, spreading joy and optimism both within and beyond our family.
|Uncle Walter and Aunt Lillian together as always|
Here is an example of what I mean. My aunt’s hearing has been failing for many years, a fact which she hasn’t always admitted to or let dim her outlook on life. My uncle, on the other hand, is one of the great snorers of our time. “Windows rattle in the house when my dad sleeps,” my cousin David once remarked. Somehow those two infirmities haven’t gotten in their way. A few years ago, my aunt noted that as they have gotten older, my uncle’s snoring problem seems to be getting much better. No problem!
As I thought about the upcoming 73rd anniversary, I began doing a little thinking about the significance of the number 73. It seems to be everywhere in my family’s life these days. My brother is 73. So are my cousins Joel and Harold. Audrey and I recently celebrated our 45th anniversary, having been married in the year 1973.
|Cheering for the number 73!|
Is there anything else special about the number 73, I wondered, numerology-wise? It turns out that it is pretty special. (Here is a little esoterica.) 73 is the 21st prime number. Its mirror (37) is the 12th and its mirror (21) is the product of multiplying 7 and 3. In binary, 73 is a palindrome, 1001001 which backwards is 1001001. How special is that!
There is even a Biblical significance. If you count up the number values of the letters in the first seven words from Genesis 1:1 (In the beginning, G-d created the heaven and the earth), the sum is 2701, which is 73 x 37. Biblical scholars seem to revel in this kind of number play. And my Uncle Walter would be happy to know that the number values of the letters in the word Chokma, which means “wisdom,” also add up to 73. He has always been one of the wisest—and funniest—men I have known.
I’m not sure what all of this has to do with my aunt and uncle and what it reflects on their amazing long run together, but I wanted to celebrate them, both in anecdote and in numbers. Together, they add up to quite a pair.!