I was sitting in a Main Line restaurant enjoying the fabulous fare with my husband of 32 years when I spotted them. It was just a couple. but something about them made it difficult for me to resist staring—gawking, actually—in their direction.
My husband asked me what I was looking at. I told him to turn around inconspicuously and tell me how old he thought the couple was. He refused at first. But, being the insisting type, I made him look. “I don’t know, maybe 70,” he replied.
And there it was. It wasn’t just their age, but how they were not acting their age, that was so mesmerizing.
Here was this mature woman, softly touching her man’s cheek and guiding it toward her so she could kiss him. She then nestled her head between his shoulder and chest, and smiled. They whispered, they laughed, they kissed. They were clearly in love.
At first, I was cynical, thinking these two couldn’t be married 40 years. It must be an affair—or a second or third marriage. Then I felt ashamed of myself. Love is love at any age, and theirs seemed beautiful, pure and simple.
What this couple has everyone wants. I remember that feeling of young love, with all the romance and thrills. It’s a special time where you just don’t care about anything else. You can’t even see the people around you. The way you look, your energy level—everything is at its best.
Then the reality of a married life sets in. You still love, but it changes a bit. Days roll into weeks, into months, into years, into decades on the treadmill of parenting, mortgages and other responsibilities. Love now carries a mutual appreciation, a history together. It’s stressful, but if you hang in there and choose wisely, it’s so worth it.
Now that my kids are grown, it’s mostly back to the two of us, and we’ve come to realize we’re on the back 9. But are the best parts of our lives truly in the past, with only the most wonderful of memories to keep us going? Or is there more?
The answer is yes. And this couple showed me that. Whatever the future holds, I hope it gives us enough time to enjoy our grandchildren, travel the world, and fall in love over and over again.
We know so much more now. When we hook or slice the ball, we’ve learned how to chip it back onto the green. We know when to use the driver and when to putt. We know what the other is thinking, even before the other thinks it. We remember how we looked in our glory days, and we still see it in each other.
So, to all those couples out there looking for more: Don’t give up. Love is the secret, the nirvana, the heaven—and it knows no age.
JoAnne Cannon is a happily married mother of two sons. Love is her wish for you.