It was a little over a year ago that I was taking Minnie, my shih tzu for her morning walk. It was the same walk we had strolled down for the past 8 years since she was a pup. As I turned the corner onto Oysterwood, I passed a man with his dog I had never seen before. He stopped, said hello and we chatted for a few minutes asking each other where we lived and how long we had lived in the neighborhood. We moved on and I was puzzled, as was he, why we had never seen each other after I learned he had lived only 9 houses from mine for eleven years, and I had lived in mine for 13. Without another thought, I went home and prepared my day as usual. The following day, it seemed uncanny that we met each other again. We stopped once more and chatted.
“You’re not 50 yet, are you?” I laughed and told him without any hesitation that I passed that 32 years ago.
“I’m 67”, he replied. My mind told me this is a deal breaker. Although flattered, I thought 15 years my junior was not an option for me. I had just turned 82 a few months prior and being a cougar was not of any interest to me. On the third morning, we crossed paths once more. We stopped again to say good morning, and for whatever reason, he put his arm around my waist, pulled me forward and kissed me without any hesitation. Realizing he was impulsive and inappropriate, he started to say he was sorry, but not before I smiled and said, “WOW! What a kiss!”, leaving him without a reason to apologize.
It was the following day when we crossed the same path at the same time that I invited him to my home for a glass of wine. He was very happy to offer to bring the wine and I made a few hors d’oeuvres. We sat on my sofa and never stopped talking, never a loss for words.
“Do you like Bocelli?”, he asked.
“I love Bocelli, I replied.
“How would you like to see him on Valentine’s Day? He will be here in Ft. Lauderdale.”
Without any hesitation, I graciously accepted and our romance began. As of this writing it is over a year since he kissed me spontaneously on the corner of Oysterwood and Yellowheart, He shared that his wife had passed away a year ago Thanksgiving and I shared that I had been divorced more than 46 years. Although there were some complications I had to work out due to unfinished business with my ex, kids and so forth, (nothing worth writing about for this purpose), however, I managed to join him to the concert and as of this writing, more than a year later, we are still together and declared our relationship as “life partners,” This is a miracle that I never expected at this time of my life, Falling in love at 82 was not anything I ever anticipated, However, God works in mysterious ways, and I am overwhelmed with this love in my life and grateful to have been blessed with perhaps having saved the best for last.
With all the stresses and strains of our world struggling to maintain sanity and the horrific disasters occurring in Turkey, Syria and New Zealand, and a war in Ukraine that is now a year of hell, not to mention the crisis in civility in our pollical arena, it’s difficult to focus on what we all need most right now; that being LOVE! Valentine’s Day bursts with romance and the sweetness of falling in love, staying in love and dancing to the end of time, however, love comes in many forms besides romance. It is so important to maintain loving relationships with family, friends, old and new, neighbors, pets and especially our children. In order to stay mindful of this, its most vital to love ourselves! The question is how can we do this with all the tragedy that befalls upon us daily?
Since none of us has control over what’s going on with our economy, inflation, the stock market, Covid and all its followers–the mass shootings and the political divisiveness in our country, we need to have control in what we can; to have faith in our humanity and make a conscious effort to show love in giving gratitude for what we have; our blessings, our health and our connections with one another. We need to practice being present to each other; learn to have patience with our loved ones and give to those who are less fortunate.
My own life has taken a personal turn for the happiest time in my life. At reaching the age of 83, I have found love when I never expected it to happen. This love has made all the above hardships we are all subjected to seem pale. It has taken me on a wave length to a place I never thought possible. Just two weeks ago we had a celebration of love to honor what we have been blessed to capture. Not everyone has had this good fortune; not everyone has ever had this blessing. To have unconditional love and acceptance is the greatest of all gifts. If you open your heart and believe it can happen, fate has a way of cooperating. It’s part of the law of Attraction. It can’t be forced or contrived. If something is meant to be, it will be. Rumi said, Love is the bridge between you and everything. There was a post I copied from Facebook a long time ago. It read, “if God shuts a door, stop banging on it! Trust whatever is behind it is not meant for you.!”
On this Valentine’s Day, think of what you can do to generate love to others. Don’t honk your horn when inpatient to another driver. Don’t give the finger as you drive along the expressway because a guy just cut you off. Do what you would like others to do unto you; something we learned in kindergarten. It’s easy to lose your cool. Its better to maintain it as an act of love. The driver may never know it, but you will. The act of loving calms down your central nervous system. The act of letting go allows forgiveness. Kindness goes a long way, Practicing self- control takes mindfulness, something that one can learn and practice.
Our world has been in a dark place for too long. It’s time to embrace the shadow side of our lives and learn to embrace love as a remedy to wrongdoings. Let’s inoculate ourselves with an abundance of love.
Wishing you all a very Happy Valentine’s Day!