Love at 75 is a work of art and craft, of continuously paddling a canoe together. Forward.
Love is an art and craft both tender and kind and thoughtful, … very, very thoughtful. Throughout life together those who truly love each other consider the effect of what they do and say on their soul-mate.
Romance lives! My Jim brings me treats and flowers and watches me throughout the day. He tells me I am adorable when I pucker up to share a kiss. Yes, kissing is still a very big deal.
Our touches are lingering. A continuing communication. A sharing. A bond of strength. We are known for holding hands when in each other’s presence.
Indeed, tears form happily as I realize our children still enjoy holding our hands. Holding hands with each of them from toddlerhood on through early adulthood. And we thrive in each other’s companionship. One daughter and one son. Add now our daughter’s husband of 20 plus years, their soon to be 17 year old son and their 13 year old daughter. Seven of us.
Seven has been my favorite number since I was a child.
Why am I writing of our love and marriage on this website? My lived experience with mental illness has tossed challenges in our relationship.
Sometimes, others have hinted that I have been lucky that my husband stayed married to me. As if we were not worthy of this love and commitment these 53 years!
But we are braided together, strong, flexible, and happy in each other’s arms.
All healthy lifelong relationships are a two way street.
My challenges have been public. I have always believed in my heart of hearts that being open about mental illness is essential for reducing stigma. Perhaps my writings have helped others feel hopeful.
And hope is absolutely necessary. Our children, son-in-law, grandchildren and our sons’ close friends all have an enlightened, accurate and knowledgeable appreciation of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other brain disorders.
Jim and I have grown together since our first date, May 1965. Paddling and correcting our course as needed in a life enhancing way. Sometimes we paddled along the lake shore. Or perhaps we meandered down a river and explored a cove filled with stunning Venus fly trap plants, lily pads and wild irises (True story!) Only a few wrong bends but we worked together to navigate our way onward.
My husband taught me early that like so much of life, there is a learning curve with a canoe and a river. Yes, paddling must be learned. It’s not automatic, and if you think it is, you will flounder … maybe tip out … maybe perish, when life’s rapids occur.
Each river, lake, stream, and cove is unique and a part of life’s journey. Each offers a growth experience. The weather and the landscape, the water and the sky — and other people canoeing the same water, maybe or maybe not with respect for canoes and water! — are part of our journey and yours.
Yes, I am fortunate. And Jim is fortunate to be my husband … he’s always the first to say so!
“Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments, love is not love
Which alters when it alterations finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no! It is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempest and is never shaken.”
– From Sonnet CXVI
William Shakespere, 1564-1616
Thank you kindly!