The Late In Life Love Project
If you’d like to share your story with me, and others, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Origins of My Quest to Tell Late-in-Life Love Stories
By Carolyn Tamler
After meeting, falling in love with, and then marrying Rich when I was 62, I said to my friends: “I’m the poster girl for it’s never too late.” I soon learned that late-in-life love stories abound.
(Photo: courtesy of Sue Averett, http://www.the-enchanted-studio.com/)
I began meeting others who had met and married in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s (and beyond). These couples all seemed to share the same basic story: they were best friends; spent a lot of time together; were very romantic; didn’t sweat the small stuff; were far more accepting of their differences rather than trying to change the other person.
Falling in love later in life is not what our culture promotes. There are huge investments in magazines, television shows and movies that highlight love stories of young people. It is rare to hear or see much about older people falling in love, being romantic, developing trusting and lasting relationships (though there have been a couple of movies in the last decade that showed romance between people older than 40).
I talked about doing these essays for many years.
Then, Whidbey magic happened for me. It started when I recently had lunch with my author friend, Theo Wells. I told her my idea for writing late-in-life love essays, and she encouraged me to stop talking and start writing; to follow through on this project.
A couple of days later, I was surprised to find an email from a person named Kathy who sent a message through my Facebook page and asked a question about something I had posted there. I emailed back and included my personal email address and asked who she was. Kathy said she remembered me from high school; we’d been in the same class. I just happened to have a copy of my high school year book on a bookshelf in my bedroom, and I found her picture and had some memory of her.
As I was perusing the yearbook, I came across an old newspaper clipping from the Los Angeles Herald & Express dated August 3, 1956 pressed between the pages. The headline read: “Romance in Home for the Aged: 98 and 95 to Marry.” It was the story about my great grandfather, Myer, who was planning to marry Hinda. Myer’s former wife had died five years earlier, after 75 years of marriage; Hinda had been a widow for 40 years.
In a pre-marital interview at the Jewish Home for the Aged where they lived, one of the doctors commented that my great grandfather “manifested all of the enthusiasm, love and attention of a young man in love.” His bride-to-be was described as “looking pleased and affectionate.”
I knew the outline of their story from my adolescent years, but I had completely forgotten about this newspaper article, and I had no idea that I had saved it. Somewhere buried deep inside me was this wonderful story of people falling in love and making a commitment to one another, even as they were each approaching nearly a century of life.
The discovery of this hidden treasure, following so closely after my meeting with Theo, leaves me no choice, but to get started writing.
Now I’m on a quest to find other late-in-life love stories with the goal of compiling them in a book someday. If you fit this description, or you know someone who does, please contact me: email@example.com.