My husband and I went out for dinner this week. We wore masks until seated and were delighted to find that our chosen restaurant, Cuba Cuba, had set up tables on its front lawn. We got there early enough to have lots of personal space in the great outdoors.
You’d think I’d go with the restaurant’s signature mojito, being it’s a Cuban drink and we were in a Cuban restaurant. But I can make mojitos at home (mint! I have mint!). Instead, we allowed some geographical mixing-it-up and toasted each other with Brazilian caipirinhas. (Sure, I could make those at home, too, but cachaça is harder to find than rum.)
When I was younger, I looked at older couples and wondered how could anyone be in in love with an old person? I mean, wrinkles and sags and bifocals and gray hairs and less hair where you want it and more where you don’t. All that general decrepitude? Not appealing, my 30-something self declared.
But these days, I look at my husband with my older eyes, facing him with my ever-advancing imperfections, and I think he is the most attractive man in the world. And also the most interesting.
During the pandemic he’s been serenading me with flamenco guitar, which he first picked up early in our marriage when we spent a summer studying in Spain. He’s been sketching (our dog Dexter is his favorite subject), learning about and practicing stoicism, fixing things around the house, smoking yummy foods for dinner, and setting up a place to chillax in our back yard.
Now I understand how easy it is to love an old person. It helps to BE an old person. And it helps to have an intertwined history. You have all this narrative between you, a long and winding road behind you with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Always you have been able to depend on each other. You are thankful for the opportunity to continue walking the road ahead.
And you still love gazing into that face. You still thank your lucky stars.
It’s a beautiful thing.
We made it to 25!
Along these lines
Lori Holden, mom of a teen son and a teen daughter, writes from Denver. Her book, The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole, is available through your favorite online bookseller and makes a thoughtful anytime gift for the adoptive families in your life. Catch episodes of Adoption: The Long View wherever you get your podcasts.
Lori was honored as an Angel in Adoption® in 2018 by the Congressional Coalition of Adoption Institute.