As Jay and I have the Joy of growing older together, I think of the real life witnesses of Older Love who went before us.
My parents were married for 71 years. My father called my mother his “precious wife.” He called her “darling.” He called her every night to wash his back at the end of his bath.
He called her to tell him whether she thought the vegetables in the garden were ready to pick. She laughed that he would ask her because he was the one raised on a farm and she was not.
She fixed his favorite foods every day, getting up early to stir the grits. She had his lunch ready when he came home midday. She watched for him out the window, so she could serve it up hot when he came in the door. She never lost the excitement in her voice when she would call out, “He’s coming!”
They hugged and kissed. They slept close in a standard double bed. They frequently repeated “I love you” even though neither could ever doubt the other’s love.
They did not always agree. Sometimes they had spirited “discussions.” But there was always respect. And they apologized when they felt they were wrong. They never went to bed mad.
They got down on their knees and prayed together.
When she lay in a hospital bed near the end of her life, and she could not see him, she asked where he was. I told her he was sleeping in the chair by her bed. I asked if she needed something. She smiled and said, “No, I just always like to know where he is.”
He continued to live on earth for awhile after she was promoted to Heaven, but it was clear part of his heart was with her, even before he joined her in Heaven.
I am so thankful for getting to see up close and personal what long lasting, real Love looks like. I am so thankful to have found the one God created for me to love and the one who loves me so well. Jay, I want to grow old with you!