... age is only a number
It has been an exciting and educational spring and summer. February, I wrote a brief little article, New Beginnings. Little did I realize that it would be so much fun beginning again. When my husband and best friend passed away, he wanted me to go on and have a good life. At first, I just enjoyed my family and friends, thought nothing of dating at 66 -- well that changed this spring.
It all started when one of my caring, worried friends decided that Joanne needed to have a man in her life .. ha, the good intentions of friends. She arranged a date with a nice gentleman, but, she did not take into consideration height differences -- I am five foot nine, he was five foot, three inches, barely came up to my chest. We went to lunch, he brought me beautiful roses and as we are eating, he tells me how much he loves dancing -- I had all I could do not to laugh. All I could picture was dancing with him and his head in or on my chest. That was our first and last date. After that, I told my friend and she and I laughed. I also told her, “Please do not try to fix me up again…I am fine alone”
The story continues and I hope you're laughing -- I am. Her next attempt was to invite me to go to a dance with her and her fiancé, promising that it was just a dance, not trying to “fix me up”. Well I went. I actually had a nice time, but every time a gentleman came over to our table to say hello to her or her fiancé, she would somehow manage to make sure they knew I was alone and that I loved to dance, so I did dance all night. Luckily, I had my own car and had to pick up my granddaughter, so I excused myself early and went home.
Another friend of mine was online and meeting people, so she convinced me to “Try it, it is fun". That was the beginning of my exciting spring. I decided to pick someone far away, have just a pen pal, really did not think I was ready to date or actually meet anyone. Very nice, interesting man, from out mid-west -- we were email pen pals from February on. We talked about everything, exchanged life histories, world affairs, our interests and hobbies. When he talked about his travels, I asked, “Ever been to Boston?” His answer was “Not yet” My reply, “If ever you do, you can come by and we can share a cup of coffee” A couple of more emails and he says, “I am traveling from Minnesota to Canada to North Carolina, Boston is in middle. Want to have that cup of coffee? I’ll bring two bikes; we can have coffee and a bike ride." Well, being a good hostess and true to my word, I replied, “Come ahead”
Many more emails and both of us nervous wrecks, he arrived. Wonderful visit, I took him on a tour of Boston. We rode bikes and had many cups of coffee. I call this the beginning of my “Spring Awakening”. Moral of the story, never pick a pen pal from far away thinking you will never meet. The story goes on; he went on to North Carolina and we continued emailing, twice a day, everyday. In May he came for another visit. We visited friends and family, took long walks, went to theater and Rockport and Newburyport. In June I went to Minnesota and visited his world -- wonderful trip. We took lots of bike rides and I helped him plant a garden. Enjoyed the trip and his company. I returned home all refreshed. Because of personality differences now we are pen pals only, our paths may physically never cross again. But it was my Spring Awakening; he made me remember that life is to be enjoyed. He got me riding bike and walking and exercising again, I have lost 20 pounds and my friends say I have a new attitude on life. I feel twenty years younger.
I am still online and have pen pals, but I think soon I might be brave enough to meet someone close, someone in this area. So, if you are alone, starting over in your senior years, try online encounters. It is fun, you have to be careful, not everyone is what they seem. Life goes on and it is a new experience to meet people. I am going to get out more too, join a dance group or go bowling or more church affairs, but still will keep my pen pals.
You’re never too old to start again, get moving, and enjoy life, because age is only a number. Live well, love much, and laugh often.
September 5, 2008