Why Did I Marry an Old Man?

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A beach cherry? – Lake Michigan shore.

We went to breakfast this morning at our favorite breakfast place in Michigan. There were a lot of cars in the parking lot, but when we went in we saw that the back end, around the corner, was empty so we sat in the booth in the far corner. We do this so we can talk and Jim can hear without his hearing aids picking up all the ambient noise of a voices. We are learning the hearing-aid friendly places to go for this-and-that conversation over breakfast, lunch and dinner – but that is another post.

Yesterday was our 55th anniversary and as usual we forgot about it until we received an e-mail from our financial adviser wishing us a happy day. It used to be a card from my mother that reminded us of the occasion. Yesterday we made quick plans to go out for supper, mainly because I hadn’t thought about what to fix for supper. You can tell that we don’t take this day really seriously, probably because we remember on most days how much we appreciate our time together, which makes a special celebration feel redundant and unnecessary.

This morning Jim said “Happy Anniversary” to me after we had each fixed our coffee with one sweetener and two creamers. I looked into his eyes and smiled. I told him how he was a perfect husband for me and that I believe each of us is a better person because of the other. We have been a part of each other’s lives for 60 years, through some very difficult years, many years when we were too preoccupied with the work of maintaining a household and raising a family to assess whether they were good or bad, and lots of times throughout that were full of joy and happiness. During this time we talked and laughed, talked and cried, talked and screamed, talked and went silent. During this time we impacted each other’s thoughts and emotions. We changed how we behaved and what we believed in. We became more of the person each of us was meant to be and also more tolerant. As we developed our own personalities over the years, we also became more compatible.

Last week I was thinking, with an internal giggle, why I had married an old man – the old man that I wake up to each morning and then say “I love you” to every night as we squirm around trying to find a comfortable position that allows sleep to take us in. I enjoyed this question over several days and thought about the wonder of growing old together, but didn’t know how it would be received by Jim. So one afternoon as we met in the middle of the kitchen with a cheerful hug that was almost sensual, I asked him why he married such an old woman. He laughed heartily and didn’t lose a beat by replying, “Ah, but I see a resemblance to a woman that I thought was really hot in a long ago time.”

Categories: aging

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12 Comments »

  1. Such a blessing to fall into a meaningful hug. Once loneliness hit me it hit quite hard. And it was especially hard because it was so long in coming. I thought I just skipped a stage of grief or something, and I was happy that I did. And then I found out that I didn’t. I didn’t think I would ever give or receive a hug like that again. And then a chance connection on Facebook brought me face to face with the first boy to ever make an impression on me. His was the face I saw when I thought of the days long ago when we played hard all day and then got up and did it again the next day. Innocent play, too young to disappoint each other, or argue with each other. We moved, and 62 or so years passed, and Facebook happened, and we popped into each other’s life again. Each with our own issues. Each in need of the kind of connection that feels like it has always been there. In need of a hug. A hug that feels like CPR. Forgive me but I think I just wrote a blog post of my own.

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