Love, Young and Old

Warm, gray, drizzly day, heavy with the promise of spring.  Schubert string quartets playing softly on the stereo.  Earl Grey steaming from my Mexican pottery mug.  I watch as the pictures cycle through my digital picture frame on the counter, images of my son’s wedding this past summer.  I feel the intensity of the gaze between him and his beloved, and I reflect on love and life.

I am privileged to have some of the letters my parents wrote to each other during WWII when my father was stationed in the South Pacific.  They were newlyweds when my father was overseas, and the letters reflect their longing to be together and start their lives.  My dad wrote:  Remember our December, Darling?  Cold, chilling to the bone, but it was ours to spend together.  We shall have many Christmases together and watch many a new year begin.”

I, too, have known the fiery passion of young, married love, two hearts, two souls who look upon the world as a place of infinite possibilities they can shape with their desires.  When they look at each other, they see their lives spreading out before them in directions of their choosing.  It is a love of intense exhilaration.  Even when the weariness of work and responsibilities sets in, they have only to look at each other to stir up the flame of passion again.  Oh, young lovers, cherish this time and remember it, for it is precious.

My husband and I have been married for nearly forty years.  I know we felt that excruciatingly sweet hopefulness that comes when two young lives face their beginnings as a couple, but so much of our life has passed that the fervor of that time is no longer tangible.  Our love, though still intense, has been transformed by life into something gentler, perhaps more tender.  I still feel like that young girl my sweetheart married, and I sometimes wonder who that old woman is staring back at me in the bathroom mirror each morning, but the exhilaration of planning our future together has diminished. Now our plans are not of what direction our life will take but of where we will vacation or when we will get to see our children and grandchildren.

Young lovers, don’t feel sad for us because that promise you felt as you said your vows is realized in us.  When my son Matt was five, he was sitting on my lap and I remember this conversation:

Me:  Matt, I love you very much.

Matt:  I love you so much, too.  I loved you even when I was a baby.

Me:  Really?  You remember loving me when you were a baby?

Matt:  Yes, and I loved you even before I was born.

Me:  That’s amazing!  How do you know you loved me even before you were born?

Matt:  Because I love you so much now, and it takes a long time to love someone that much.

Yes, it does take a long time to love someone that much.  After all these years, I still wait at the door and blow my husband a kiss as he drives off to work, I still daydream about him while he’s away, I still greet him eagerly at the door when he returns.  The fire of young love has not been doused; it just needs stirring up once in awhile.

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About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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13 Responses to Love, Young and Old

  1. oldereyes says:

    There is nothing in life better that sharing forty-plus years of love … and forty-plus years of common experience … with one person. So many couples, when they reach that difficult period so many couples have, could work through it and have their second marriage with their first spouse, which is the best way to have a second marriage. Our best friends, married fifty-five years, when someone asks how they can have a marriage like theirs, say, “If you want to have what we have, you have to go what we’ve been through.” At least for us, it’s not all been easy but it’s made us the cute old couple we are.

    • comingeast says:

      You are so right about there being nothing like sharing 40 plus years of common experience. I shake my head when I hear of people who end their marriages after seventeen years and marry strangers, especially ones ten-fifteen years their junior. What do they have in common? What memories do they share? Marriage is hard work. Love is hard work. But it is so worth it. Thanks, Bud.

  2. Precious. You are so very fortunate. In a day of taco bell and instant gratification, there are very few people willing to put in the time that it takes to acquire a time tested true love.

  3. mrngstr333 says:

    Oh thanks a lot, Susan! Tears while at my desk at work, great!!

  4. Pingback: Seven Links Challenge | Coming East

  5. Bill Tucker says:

    Wow! Wonderfully written.

  6. This is so touching I am teary. Love your photograph, and feel the same way about my husband. I even love seeing him just walk in the door.

  7. I too have letters that my parents wrote to each other nearly 50 years ago…they are beautiful and tender..talking about when my father comes home from the Royal navy..alll their plans,dreams and hopes for their future together….this is a beautiful post..thank you for sharing..Eliza

    • comingeast says:

      How sad that we don’t write like that anymore, but aren’t we lucky that we have those treasures from the past. I even have love letters my grandparents sent to each other. My grandfather called my grandmother “Baby Toodlums.” I only knew that from reading those letters! Thanks for visiting and sharing your comment.

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