It's Never Too Late For LOVE

by Sheila White
(Cambridge Ontario)

When your mate has passed on, you are understandably grief-stricken. You’ve had many wonderful years together and now you’re alone with only memories to comfort you during the long days and nights ahead. What is the use of living when there is no one to love or to love you back? Why bother even getting up in the morning?

Those of us who have lost a loving mate know the feeling well. When my George died two years ago, I decided that I’d give life another four years, until my 90th birthday. I have considerable pain and can’t go far without a walker. I have trouble swallowing and mainly eat soup. My girlish figure up and left years ago. And I’m almost bald. Looking around at the inhabitants of the seniors’ facility where I live, I’m horrified to see others my age and younger losing their memories, falling and breaking hips, dealing with failing eyesight and hearing, and I feared those things would happen to me. I didn’t like the idea one bit.

George and I moved here 9 years ago and for six years we were contented. We both had volunteer jobs that kept us busy and interested, and we met and mingled with others aged 60+ quite happily. One of my jobs was to write short biographies of incoming tenants and residents and one day I visited with Bill, an MS patient in long-term care, who had recently lost his wife.

When I met him I found out he and George had worked for the same company at one time, so were acquainted. As he told me his story, I felt great admiration for the way he handled his disabilities and never complained or was bitter about the blow Fate had dealt him. He maintained a good sense of humor and this drew people towards him, both men and women, and to me that was admirable. The story I wrote couldn’t help but have a positive slant.

A year later, my husband became ill with prostate cancer. The disease progressed quite fast. He was incontinent and his memory failed. It wasn’t long until he moved into long-term care so that he could have some nursing care and I could have some freedom from the stress of looking after him. And then he died. He was just 90 years old. I was eighty-six.

It was then I decided that 90 should be my own cut-off age. For a year or so I carried on but without any enthusiasm for life. I stopped my writing and other volunteer activities. My aches and pains grew worse and I looked forward to an end of it all. I didn’t know how my death would come about, but I knew it would be a relief.

Then one day two years later I came out of my apartment and there was Bill. He was sitting by the elevator that serviced the wing of long-term care where he lived. He teased me that he now knew where I lived and could come and visit me. I teased back and told him he was welcome anytime. I’m sure we both came away smiling.

As time went by, we met by chance several times and continued the teasing, until one day I challenged him to make good his promise. It took a while, but one day my phone rang and it was Bill. He wanted to see me and could he come that evening? And, of course, I couldn’t refuse. I didn’t WANT to refuse. The more I’d seen of him, the more I liked him. And so it started.

Nine months later, we are committed to each other. No, we don’t want to marry. We both had excellent marriages with spouses that could not be duplicated.

What we have now is something else, something special. After long talks and a few visits, we are delighted to find we are emotionally and intellectually suited, and it’s wonderful to once again share those private thoughts and ideas that only a very special person can understand and relate to.

The result? Bill says he is truly happy for the first time in years.

Each day he has something to look forward to, and I can echo that. The love that I feel is mirrored back to me from friends and neighbors and I no longer consider that my 90th birthday will be my last. Bill is eight years younger than I am, but we shrug at that. For us life can go on and be wonderful while we are still able to enjoy each other’s company.

We know the end will come for one of us eventually and when it does, the other one will be there, holding hands. And that’s a promise.

Wendy: WOW.. What an inspirational story! Thanks ever so much for sharing!

Comments for It's Never Too Late For LOVE

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Sheilas story, its never to late for love
by: *joyce

I loved sheilas story, hasnt happened to me as my ex is still alive after 38 years. he left me for no reason .he met his partner 10 years before we were divorced that was 20 years ago.

I havent met anyone since, only a friend to go out with who has passed on now.

I belong to several clubs which are all women also playing bar billiards in a league with men who make me laugh, so still hoping.

by: LOYCE!/Auburn, CA

I say kudos/congrats to those who proudly go it alone as many of us have been long-time caregivers and now can finally put the focus on ourselves, enjoy avoiding the negative and putting emphasis on two-way streets.

I choose the community family to relate to as I wish to be related back to and when business peeps know my name the tip is warranted. Of course, I am committed to my neighborhood/community and remain where I am planted as I find empowerment from my home; property and aviary filled with happy birds.

I walk my lively dog; chat/lunch with a few friendly neighbors; thrift and chat with the positive volunteers and work out the local health club. I golf at the local nine holer; practice at the public 18 holer and chat with the staff. I reach out and talk to all those I feel at ease with. I erected a book exchange in front of my house; and I oversee/restock the box and have had a few thank-yous from the neighbors. I share my community experiences online and try to stay informed of community happenings. I walk regularly with a good friend at a local park.

I like local because I maximize out on my time/gas while I hear others complain about lack of funds after they return from their "vacations".

We are all choosing and my goal is to continue to thrive in the staycation of my choice where I see my grass as very green.

by: Loyce! in Auburn, CA

We are constantly adapting to change and transition. People fall ill; people die and those of us who choose to adapt, are best served when we remain active with our minds and--if possible--our bodies.

Reach out to others; remain positive/upbeat; be friends with those who can reciprocate; take care of yourself, alone or living with another, create reasons to have a momentum: Enjoy your pets, hobbies, activities, home, community, neighbors.

Learn to count on yourself because YOU are the only one YOU can change. Find the gratitude.

Is Never too late for love
by: christina kemker

I am so touched by this Story, it is so romantic. Its good for you cause Í often go to the aged here in Berlin and the worst subject is always the "Loneliness". And there is nothing I can do to motivate them to have tea with another person.

Most of them tell me they are too independant and need nobody but I see when I say goodbye the sadness in the eyes. My heart bleeds for them.

Romance and Love
by: Nina from London

Hello Sheila,

Couldn't help but smile! It makes me glad that you are so happy and you found romance and love. When life brings special surprises it makes it even more worth living.

Thanks for sharing such an inspirational story.

Best Wishes, Nina

Answer to Karyn
by: Sheila White

Thank you, Karyn, for your encouraging comments. I feel sad that you are not happy in your present circumstances and wish I could help, but the problem is yours to handle.

One suggestion: please notice that when I met Bill it was through a volunteer job I took at this retirement home. I took the job because I've been a writer for a long time, so it suited my talent, and through using my talent I met Bill and so many other wonderful people that I am never lonely here.

[What talents do YOU possess?] At your age there must be at least one thing you are good at. Remember that God gave us talents to use, not to waste. So, use your talent, whatever it is, and you will find a new joy in living and new friends who are compatible.

I wish you luck. Please write and tell me how you get along. My address is: at gmail dot com

by: Sharyn~~~CANADA

Dear Sheila

Yes this is a wonderful story, how fortunate for the 2 of u. Enjoy the rest of your days together, lm happy for u. Your so lucky to have found someone at your age and lm only 66 and wish the same for me!

This is my fault because l don't make the effort to meet people ~ very little money (pension) haven't had new clothes for sooo long, no car anymore (lack of funds). lm just keeping my head above water each month.

No close friends OR family and the older people in my building, many r older than l am right now. Rarely see anyone in the halls or coming and going (it is like a morgue) l hate it here!!

Many do not speak English or understand English & that means they do not have a sense of Canadian humor~~
Oh how l would love to go on an adventure, lm healthy, walk every day, eat well, just don't know how to make new friends at my age.

Don't anyone suggest seniors' club house or whatever (they r all very old) l have tried those too.

Computer, l play games but it is not like talking or being friends with a real live person ( lol )
male or female, open to options at this x in my life.

There r many in my situation, alone & hoping for a future with FRIENDS ( loyal )

by: Anonymous

I agree with Wendy. This was so well written and warmed my heart. I love to see story's like this. God Bless them both.

68 and counting
by: Chuck

Not knowing if I'm counting up or counting down.
A very thought provoking post. Thanks for sharing.

A Story of Hope
by: Dean

Sheila, What a beautiful story! You've been through so much and still have the spirit to love again.

My wife and I have been married 43 years and are quite young 62 and 63. I don't like to think about it but of course there will come a day when there is only one of us left. I expect I'll be first to go as I have a heart condition which will eventually be my end.

Your story gives me hope that no matter which of us dies first, there should be something to look forward to afterwards.

Thank you for sharing your experience!

Never too late
by: Carol

What a wonderful and loving story.

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