Many people have told me that, even now, they envy me because I found the love of my life and had seven years loving him. These people — friends and strangers — tell me that they never had a love so profound and exhilarating. Some of these people are now in unsatisfying or semi-satisfying relationships; others are single-and-looking; some are single-and-defeated.
I’d like to tell you that it’s never too late.
I didn’t meet Robert until I was 57 and he was 64. Before that, I had one short marriage, a few long-term relationships, more flings than I’d like to count, and decades of single life. I wrote in Better Than I Ever Expected how I felt as if I had turned invisible after menopause, men literally looking over my head to see who else (younger, prettier) might be coming in the door. I thought it was all over, that I would never have the opportunity to give all the love that I knew was in me.
Then Robert walked in the door of my line-dance class, and, as I put it in my book, I tried to remember to breathe.
I wrote this to a loved one today, and I’d like to share it with you:
It’s worth trusting and holding out for a great love rather than settling for something less satisfying. You’ll know it when you find it — not right away, because love relationships take work, and goodness, we did work on ours. But when the work paves the way for letting the love blossom and sing and paint colors in the sky, you’ll know.
The length of time we can live together in great love is no measure of its value. We had seven years, and almost five of those years felt like borrowed time because of the cancer diagnosis. Even knowing the end, I would do it all again.