Falling in Love # 3/ old and in love

 I first met Elsie when she volunteered for the same organization I did – a sweet elderly lady with white curly hair and sensible shoes.

 She was about 80 years old, and always had a smile on her face. She loved to challenge herself, and decided to volunteer in order to “make a difference” and not sit idle at home.

One day after a meeting, she asked if she could  use my phone because she forgot to tell her husband where to meet for lunch. As I was tidying up the room, the following conversation ensued:
 
“Hi, my love. I realized that I forgot to mention where this new restaurant is, and I know that you hate being late to dates with me, so here’s the address…. Ok, I will see you there in about ten minutes, my dear… Can’t wait!”

To say that I was wondering what was going on in this relationship between two elderly people would be an understatement. I’ve rarely heard this kind of effusive interaction even between people who just started dating and just fell in love, let alone someone who is married in their golden years. I made it my business to know more, because I was very curious.  Fortunately for me, Elsie and I became friends and this was her story:

“I was young when I married my first husband. As you can see, I am not particularly attractive now, nor was I in my youth. I was, what you may call, a simple looking kind of girl. My husband, however, was very attractive, and I often wondered what he saw in me. After a while it seemed like he was asking himself the same question, because he was having many affairs, and ultimately we divorced, 
though we did produce two beautiful daughters who were fortunate enough to have their father’s looks.
 
I decided to stay single, as I felt that I cannot trust men, but then met my second husband who vigorously courted me.  My daughters encouraged me to marry him as he seemed to them like a very solid citizen. That he was, but at the same time he was extremely boring,  very dry and not verbal at all.  Even though I regretted the marriage, I felt that he was a good provider – loyal and decent. Fortunately, he died of a sudden heart attack about twelve years ago.  I know that it sounds heartless, but I felt like I could have my life back.

Again, I decided to stay single, and this time I was very adamant about it, which is kind of ironic, because I did not have any suitors anyway.  I was 68 years old, still plain-looking and not interested in men.

I was acquainted with my then husband-to- be because we belonged to a bridge club. However, I never bothered to get to know him, as I was married and so was he. So, in the meanwhile, I was busy getting my life back together, and I didn’t realize that his wife died as well.

One day my phone rang and it was him, asking me if I wanted to go to a concert with him. Well, I loved classical music, so I said yes. We went to the concert, and then we had a drink, and the rest is history.
 
We fell madly in love – he was about 73 at the time, and I was approaching 69.  I know it’s hard to imagine that people my age, and with my looks, can fall passionately in love – but that’s what happened.
 
From that day on, we tried to spend all our time together. Granted, his daughter did not like me (and she still does not), but the rest of his family said I’m the best thing that ever happend to him.  And, I know that he is the best thing that ever happened to me. Unlike it was with our deceased spouses, we go to concerts and plays, which we both love – and we travel three times a year to exotic locations.  We just cannot wait to go on our next expedition! 
We are best friends. We share everything together; we love doing the same things, and we would rather be with each other than with anyone else. Rachel, I know that in your therapist’s head you are trying to figure out what was it that I did differently … what with this being the third time around. Well, I don’t want to break your bubble, but the answer is nothing. I am simply the luckiest woman in the world. It was pure luck!”

Several years later, Elsie’s husband died. 
We met for lunch and she told me how much she missed him every day; how she deeply mourned his death.
 
But, just before Elsie and I said our good-byes, she asked me, “I heard about this new thing, internet dating, can you tell me how it works?”
 
 
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About rachel bar

Psychotherapist and supervisor.
This entry was posted in Love, Marriage, Old age, Relationships, seniors, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Falling in Love # 3/ old and in love

  1. You know, it’s great to hear that older citizens are finding love and fulfilling their dreams cause often they don’t.. least to my knowledge… I would want to grow old with my lover as well and if she passed away I would want to be with someone else..being lonely sucks and I’m too social for that I feel..I think the part what makes Elise cool to me though..is her self awareness and her want to be with others..regardless if it requires doing new things or not…

    • rachel bar says:

      One of the reasons for this story had to do with Elsie being the archtype of a spinster, and yet she mananged to have three husbands and she is still going strong. Often, things are not what they seem to be.

  2. Martha Carr says:

    She may have be plain looking but what an optimist! Bless her! No bitterness there! I love stories like this. I think her positive outlook and self-honesty serves her well and makes her super attractive!

  3. Oren says:

    what a sweet story 🙂

  4. ShimonZ says:

    This is a wonderful story, and the love described is real, as far as I know.

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