"The question is asked, 'Is there anything more beautiful in life than a boy and a girl clasping clean hands, and pure hearts in the path of marriage? Can there be anything more beautiful than young love?' And the answer is given. 'Yes there is a more beautiful thing. It is the spectacle of an old man and an old woman finishing their journey together on that path. Their hands are gnarled, but still clasped. Their faces are seamed, but still radiant. Their hearts are physically bowed and tired. But still strong with love and devotion for one another. Yes, there is a more beautiful thing than young love -- old love.'" (I couldn't find a source for this.)
Just after my Mom died, days after, she and my Dad would have celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary. I have two sisters who celebrate(d) their 41st anniversary. My best friend through high school will celebrate his 42nd this year. For all those people, that's a lot of years and in every case, is an example of the above although, other than my folks, I don't consider any of these people old.
Occasionally, photos show up on the internet like these:
Both illustrate an old, unending love--shall we say, "true love"?
Being in love is great fun. The burst of hormones and physical feelings is like nothing else. Gazing into the eyes of a new beloved reflects hope, expectation, and flames. The adrenalin surge is first and foremost but like a match, the flame will burn out without sustenance, nurturing and attention.
Being "in love" to stay takes work, lots of work. Most of those foster kids are grown up now with families of their own--some have relationships that have endured, others have not. One, in her early thirties, is about to embark on her first marriage. I wish them all good luck and would advise them to bring 100% to what they have and give that 100% to make the love last. It has been more than flattering that several of these young people, and others who Maryann and I have touched, have said they want a marriage like ours (34 years this year). Trust me, and any "old marrieds" will agree with this, it isn't easy.
Don't ask me what spawned this...perhaps a conversation with my first real love this morning (yes my wife knows about her and indeed is a friend on Facebook--scary thing is they call each other "sisters"), or one with my daughter tonight. I could go on and on but I think, with a little bit jaded Italian eyes, of the older couples walking together holding hands or dancing with a sparkle that has never left their eyes after many years together and I just plain smile. Honore de Balzac said about love. "True love is eternal, infinite, and always like itself. It is equal and pure, without violent demonstrations; it is seen with white hairs and is always young in the heart." And it is those who love who have white hairs that should stand as an example for us all because those who love deeply never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young.
Blogger is really screwing up the spacing on this one...sorry about it. Have tried to edit it to make it right many times.