We had both given up on the opposite sex, having made all the usual (and occasionally unusual) mistakes over the years. I ran off to hide in the mountains in a home high on a hill overlooking Lake Tahoe. Skiing and fly fishing occupied much of my time. Laura, gypsy that she is, ran all over Eastern Europe and ended up in a small, dusty New Mexico town as director of a large residential facility. We both felt safe from ill-advised romantic entanglements. Having published a book in the spring of 2013 (Engaging The Dragon: A Man’s Guide to Happiness in the Garden of Eden), I felt pressure to create a Facebook page to publicize the book. I became curious one day about a woman who consistently “liked” the articles I posted. Laura had used an alias (for professional reasons) and her Facebook page featured only photographs of beautiful flowers, never one of herself. I sent a message suggesting that the beauty of her flowers must surely be a reflection of her own beauty. That got Laura’s attention.
We began to “talk” to each other using messages, then emails. Though she knew I had gone to the same high school as she, she didn’t really know who I was. She had never noticed the shy seventeen-year old classmate who had adored her. When she identified herself I suddenly knew my life had changed forever! I was finally talking to the woman I had loved for more than sixty years.
Falling in love was easy. Talking on the telephone for hours we felt like the teenagers we once had been. Our bodies responded as well as our minds, convincing us that our love wasn’t merely a miracle — it was real.
When Laura jumped in her car and drove a thousand miles to see me, it was a little, white haired senior citizen who climbed out of the car. It was no spring chicken who greeted her with a hug and a kiss that threatened to tumble us down that steep Tahoe driveway!
We only had a week, but that week became our honeymoon. I cannot tell you how lucky we felt, because we knew the soul mate we had longed for so many years was a reality. Even that description seems flimsy when we think of our divergent paths through life that eventually led us to one another!
Laura flew out for another quick visit a month later, resigned her directorship and arrived in her car a month after that on January 9, 2014. We were married in Auburn, California the next day. At our age, we couldn’t wait to start living the rest of our lives together.
Now, a few days after our fifteenth month anniversary, we are even more deeply in love. We faced adversity during that time, both medically and emotionally, all of which only strengthened our devotion to one another. I would have to say that laughter was a far more important part of our relationship than adversity. I had never met anyone with a more wonderful sense of humor. As part of the vows we exchanged at our wedding ceremony, she made me promise to make her laugh every day. I have loved living up to that promise.
Neither of us feel like “old” people, even as we move closer to eighty than seventy. We feel like two youngsters opening to love in the way we were always intended — whole-heartedly and without reservation.
If you meet us sometime, ask us about how we handle our differences, about how we are able to talk to each other about absolutely anything, telling each other things we’ve never spoken of to another person. Ask us about sex in the seventies and we’ll have you blushing. There is a great deal more to be said for maturity than I think has ever been said. Laura and I have never been happier for having learned the things we’ve learned, thrilled that we’ve been able to practice those things with someone who loves us as deeply as we do each other.
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