I wanted to post an upbeat aspect of aging after my last one focused on death. While we can’t deny that the ultimate conclusion of aging is death, there are many diversions along the aging journey that turn out to be a surprise and delight.
I, for example, would never have predicted that after I left nursing and focused on writing, I would have written a book. And now I’m preparing to take to the road to promote it.
One of my new friends, Margaret, who has recently retired after years at a desk job in human resources, has learned that she has a talent for painting. She also plans to write about her parent’s tree farm, a biography she will give to her grandchildren. Margaret says, “There are not enough hours in the day to do all I want to do!”
Then there is my writing friend I call Helen who found true love with Tom. Longtime friends, they both lost their spouses and reconnected to find a “spark” that ignited “true love.” See a previous post that I wrote about them.
I have heard from Helen recently. She and Tom are now living together in California. “Tom and I have ten children and stepchildren between us. His live on the west coast, mine on the east coast. And he has a fulltime job in California. We haven’t figured out how to navigate these difficulties yet.”
Recently, they traveled to east coast to attend one of Helen’s grandchildren’s graduations. “Thanks for making my Nana so happy,” her fifteen-year-old grandson told Tom during that trip.
“Our love is truly a miracle for us both,” Helen writes. “Tom is one of the nicest people I have ever known, and there is an ease and flow to our days.”
They work out at a gym several evenings a week and they both swim a quarter of a mile most nights. Both have lost weight—fifteen pounds each–and leave the gym “energized and with a sense of relaxed well-being. Not bad for almost seventy-nine.”
Helen ended her email by writing “We have trouble letting go of the evening and going to bed, like two little kids. I joked recently that we need a parent. But all is not lost — we do still brush our teeth.”
Helen and Al should have been included in Ari Seth Cohen’s newest book Advanced Love.
From the creator of the popular blog Advanced Style, photographer Ari Seth Cohen’s Advanced Love collects affectionate portraits of subjects who prove that love is bound by neither the constraints of age or time. The book includes 40 profiles of inspiring couples from around the world, and more than 200 photos. The profiles explore themes of love and companionship through firsthand insight from the subjects; they share their stories of falling in love, what they have learned after decades of partnership, and valuable relationship advice. Advanced Love is a touching look at the often-ignored partnerships of the senior set. Filled with couples who have built their lives together, it’s an indispensable trove of wisdom on love and the lessons they have learned along the way.
This book only includes couples who have been together for a long time. I hope Cohen considers writing another book about couples that have found new love in old age. Helen and Tom would certainly be an excellent addition.