A friend of mine shared a story with me the other day. An acquaintance had just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. When asked how they celebrated, she said that her husband had taken her out for a hamburger!
Now that may not sound like much of a celebration, but she was all excited about it! My friend didn’t get a chance to ask what was so exciting about a burger or even where her husband had taken her, but my guess is that it was a remembrance of a first date or something along those lines. Very sweet actually!
It always amazes me how the seemingly little things are the things that hold the most memories and sentiment in a relationship. The things that you want to celebrate and share over and over.
My dad always carried a roll of butter rum life savers in his pocket when he was dating my mom. He often had a little bag of cashews as well! She loved that and still talks about that even though dad has been gone for almost seven years. They were together 59 years and 5 months. He would often pick flowers from the garden or even wildflowers and bring them into the house as if he were courting her all over again. She’d say; “Oh, my boyfriend brought me flowers!”
Whatever the little traditions are, it is a part of what keeps the relationship alive. Those things ... that when they happen ... can trigger memories of what made the relationship spark. It can even rekindle a fading relationship.
I’ve often wondered what it would be like to be with someone that long. In some ways I can't imagine it ... and yet at the same time, I envy long relationships. The security in knowing that there is someone standing there with you through the good and bad ... supporting and loving each other through it all. Even with all of your foibles, faults and flaws!
This isn’t easy for me to admit, but as much as I love my privacy and cherish my Independence, I do have regrets of spending so much of my life alone. There is no point in playing the "should've, could've, would've" game as I can't change the past, but I do wish I had taken more chances with love and relationships. Over the years, I swore up down left right and center to anyone who would listen that I'd never marry! But I've come to realize that was to protect myself from being hurt. I was too afraid to truly give my heart and take that risk of finding real love or possible rejection. I was scared that I would not be good enough or even fail.
In the last few years, I have certainly grown stronger and more self assured. Okay, I still have doubts - but not as many as I used to have!
I have also learned to never say never!
Luckily, love is not limited to the young. Deep and lasting love can come at any age and most definitely not always in the form we had imagined or expected it.
As we age, we tend to carry more baggage. The baggage may include: exes and former in-laws; kids; grandkids; habits; quirks; interests; health issues or any number of other things. That isn’t necessarily all bad. The tricky part can be finding out if the baggage we carry, is compatible and can we really live with, and accept the parts that aren’t as compatible.
Most of my friends are a great inspiration in the relationship department. Despite a few divorced friends, several others are in relationships of twenty to forty years. Some of my pals have found their love’s in more recent years. Two of them found their loves in their 40's. Two widows found second loves in their 50's and 70's. Many years ago, a friends aunt, whom I had met a few times, fell in love and got married for the first time in her early sixties! I hear of more mature love stories all the time.
However, one of the most inspiring tales of love, is a gal pal of mine who is getting married for the first time in a couple of months! She spent a good part of her life looking for love but was never able to connect with the right guy, then finally decided she was okay with being single and never marrying. Long story short, she was pretty much content with her life for several years and then the love of her life entered the picture several months ago and can’t wait to spend the rest of his life with her!
She keeps telling me to never stop dreaming. That I shouldn’t be afraid to risk loving or being loved! If it could happen to her it can happen to anyone – as long as you allow your heart to be open!
She is right of course.
So, even at fifty-two and change, there just might be hope for me yet! Maybe there is a guy out there that is just crazy enough to want someone like me in his life! A challenge, I know - but it would be nice to share life’s journey with someone - creating memories and growing old together.
I’m not going to hit the bar scene or join any dating services as that just isn’t my style. What I am going to do, is continue living my life - but be more open to the possibility that love could come my way. I believe in fate and destiny. If I am meant to be with someone, then somehow that will happen when the time is right.
No rose coloured glasses here or blinders on as I know the odds are against me at my age, but who knows what tomorrow may bring!
Mr. Right could be closer than I know.