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Message 11 of 14

My wife said we met in high school, and I was a jerk. We married when I was 58 and she was 55, so high school was a long time back to remember. We connected on Facebook in 2013, after I sent her a birthday greeting in late September, 2013. She responded and suggested we meet, which took about two weeks, so there was a lot of texting and phone time, getting acquainted before our first date. By the time we actually got together, I felt that I knew her, and I had a warm and tingly feeling around her. We met at a restaurant and talked like old friends for hours and were holding hands before the evening was over. There was an overwhelming feeling of connection, we knew there was something special happening. We are both Christians, and belive the meeting was inspired by God. 

 

I spent as much time as I could afterwork at her home, it just felt right. I missed her when I wasn't with her, to the point of having an ache without her near. I invited her on a business trip in November, about 4 weeks after our first date. On the drive we talked about everything, and it was just so comfortable; I was In Love! I proposed during the drive, and she accepted. We started to plan a wedding, but decided just to have some family and friends with us, and had an official marry us in December. So from first date to marriage was about 2 months.

 

We have been married now 5 years, and know that the Lord was who brought us together. My wife has a lot of health issues, so I have been her care giver. The 5 years have been challenging, but we have gotten to know each other, and are becoming as the Bible calls us to be, "two become one". We did finally have a church wedding, July 4th, 2015, a date we can't forget. I love my wife, my beautiful bride!

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Message 12 of 14

LOVE STORY - PART 2

 

April 15, 1998

 

 

 

 

Dan knew that I loved to dance and he agreed to come to one of the country dances being held one weekend.  He didn’t know any of the line dances but he was able to do some slow numbers, like the two-step without too much trouble.  One of my “friends” came up to me while I was in the ladies room and said to me “Gee, Dolores, that fellow you are with is quite old, don’t you think?”  This upset me.  I told her that he was only eight years older than me but that he was a very nice fellow.  She just smiled and walked away but her words left a sting in my heart.  I was angry at her for saying what she said and I was angry at myself – questioning if I was doing the right thing in seeing Dan as often as I did.  All I knew was that I was happy when I was with him.  And lately, I was with him a lot.  He spent more time over my house than he did his own house.  And I always felt so happy when he arrived, seeing that big smile on his face.  We would spend many evenings together, just sitting together on the sofa watching TV or having a bite to eat.  Then he would drive home and there would always be an email from Dan in the morning.  This went on for months and months and then one day Dan asked me to marry him.    I had a feeling he was going to ask me and I had pondered that question many times.  I really loved him and wanted to be with him forever and forever but I would never in a million years give up my religion.  And Dan was a strong Presbyterian – he was even an elder in his church (comparable to a deacon in my church). I tried explaining all these things to Dan and it started to get very complicated.  So I decided that we would just live together without benefit of marriage.  That worked well for a while but my conscience got the better of me.  I was tired of going to Confession and telling the priest that I was living with a man without benefit of marriage.  This was really causing me lots of discomfort.   Dan sold his house and moved in with me and after a while we decided that I would sell my house and we would buy another house.  We spent every Sunday going out with real estate people looking at houses.  We found nothing we could agree on.  We were looking locally because I really wanted to be close to my daughter and new grandchildren.  We almost bid on one house and then we changed our minds and went to a new agency.  And that’s how we found the house that I now live in.  It was in a senior development, very quiet neighborhood and the house had a beautiful Florida Room that we both fell in love with.  Our houses sold fast and we made all the arrangements to move.  And there were a lot of arrangements to make. 

 

I applied for retirement from work because the house we bought was in south Jersey.  Everyone sent me email telling me how much they would miss me.  I started to cry and question whether I was doing the right thing.  I did love my job but my boss was literally driving me crazy.  I had to be on call every hour of the night and day.  I was good at what I did but I questioned whether I wanted to do that for the rest of my life.  No – I what I really wanted was to be with my Daniel the rest of my life.   All of Dan’s things were already in my house and garage and all that had to be moved also.  We moved into our new home on August 4, 2000.  After the closing for the new house, we took the keys to our new home and went to it and walked through it again.  Before we got there, we stopped a local deli and bought some sandwiches and soda and brought it with us.  We sat on one of the steps in our Florida room and ate our lunch there and just laughed and laughed.  I thought to myself “I feel so happy being here with Dan.  It will all be okay!”  Well, it was more than ok – it was heaven!  Dan was the sweetest most wonderful man any wife would want.  Dan felt the same way – evidenced by all the beautiful poems he constantly wrote me.

 

So, the next day was moving day.  Such chaos!  Our garage was stacked high with boxes, his and mine and we had no idea how long it would take us to “get settled”.  I started with all the kitchen stuff so I could at least get some cooking done.  Dan came with over 2,000 books and we had no idea where we would put them.  Eventually, we hired a carpenter to make book shelves in our family room and that’s where they all are, even to this day.  Dan was an avid reader – there was always a book in his hands.  Many times I’d be watching TV at night and he would be sitting in the (library) as we called it and then he would saunter in and sit with me to watch what I was watching at the time.  Dan always had a night time snack, either ice-cream or cookies or both.  He ate these things profusely but never gained an ounce.  I was eating the diet jello, sugar-free ice-cream popsicles, etc.  About a week after we moved in I received an email from my sister Nancy that Mom was coming to stay with us for two weeks.  She never asked me – she just announced that ‘Mom is coming to stay with you’ while she went on vacation with her girlfriend   I freaked out and got the spare bedroom ready but there was not enough time to unload all the boxes from the garage.  With Dan’s help, we got through those two weeks.  My mom always loved Dan, he was so nice to her and she just lapped it up.  He would accompany her on her walks, sit and talk with her.  She just loved all the attention that Dan gave her.  I saw that she was happy and that make me happy also.

 

Dan had the travel bug and it made him so happy to travel.  I was not happy flying in planes; in fact I was really scared most of the times we flew.  Not Dan – he would get excited like a small child every time we ventured to a new country.  Dan was such a sweet man – I would have done anything to make him happy - and so we travelled to over 49 countries.  Every time we got home I wanted to bend down and kiss the living room floor – that’s because I was so relieved to be home!

 

After we moved, Dan started coaching girls’ basketball games for the local community.  Of course, guess who did all the typing for him – me.  I was like his personal secretary.  I typed all the letters to parents, all the schedules, bulletins, announcements, etc.  I made cookies for all the teams and parties. 

 

I had been running the mental health meetings in north Jersey for almost twenty years and when we moved here the local Presbyterian Church let me have the use of one of their meeting rooms.  So every Wednesday night, Dan and I would drive to the church, set up our supplies, etc.  Dan was a big help to me for all of these meeting.  I couldn’t have done it without him.   Dan was my assistant for many years until his health failed and he was unable to continue.  I now run my meetings by myself and I really miss my dear sweet Daniel.  I think of him every day and keep looking at all our wall pictures that bring back so many wonderful memories.

 

Dan started to have memory problems.  I was getting phone calls from doctors telling me that Dan had missed an appointment, etc.  That was just the beginning of a long, long process when I really started to notice him changing.  I made an appointment with a neurologist and the doctor told me privately that Dan was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and to use his words “it will get worse”.  He prescribed some medicine but I can actually say that it didn’t help him.  I just told myself that whatever it was, I would take care of my Daniel and that was it.  He would fall down lots of times and I tried and tried to pick him up and hurt my back at times.  We bought him a special walker but that didn’t help much.  One time Dan fell in our driveway and one of my neighbors had to come over and help me pick him up.  I still would not face the fact that he was getting worse – I was so determined to take care of him myself.  I worried about him as I was still working two days a week and I would call home to check on him.  His memory got progressively worse.  When I would leave the house I would type a note in very large letters and tell him where I was and when I would be home.  I would leave copies in his bathroom and on the kitchen table.  He was usually a sleep when I left in the morning.

 

One day I left him a note that I was going to the Shop-rite and would be back in one hour.  Again, I left him a note in his bathroom and on the table.  I was back in less than an hour and when I drove up I saw two police cars in my driveway.  My heart felt like it was going to explode – I was so scared that something bad had happened to Dan while I was away.  Evidently Dan had woken up shortly after I left the house and decided to call the police to report his wife was missing.  Everyone started to tell me that I couldn’t go on like that and I was finally convinced that maybe we should consider placing Dan in a nursing home.  I put that idea out of my mind but bad things kept happening and I was finally convinced that for Dan’s safety, that was my only answer.

 

My daughter helped me to look at different nursing homes but I decided to take the one closest to our home – that way I could be there every day.  I will never forget that day as long as I live.  I didn’t want to bring him there – but I knew I had to.  I think I was more upset than Dan.  Dan had a private room and the place seemed to be nice but I felt so torn up inside.  I had the thought that I should be the one taking care of my Daniel, not some strangers.  Every day I walked in he would smile at me and I would ask him how he felt.  His reply was always the same “well, as long as you are here, now I am happy.”  Leaving him there at closing time was hard for me – I always walked out with tears in my eyes and I would cry all the way home in the car.    Dan was in the nursing home about eight months and I didn’t miss a day to be with him.  On the two days that I worked, I would get there about 5:30PM but on all the other days, I was there every day.  I would put him in his wheelchair and push him up and down the hallways, visiting other patients, going to the rooms where they had entertainment or games.  On Sundays I would push him into the room where they had religious services.  It was always a different faith group that was there but I didn’t care.  I just wanted him to be with other people.  Sometimes the group would sing religious songs and I would sing with them and try to encourage Dan to sing with me.  He would just smile but would not sing. 

 

One Sunday I wheeled him into the room and there was a religious group there and they handed out sheets with words and music on them.  Everyone started to sing, and I joined in and tried to get Dan to sing but he wouldn’t.  Then they started to sing the following song:  “Jesus loves me – this I know – for the bible tells me so.”  All of a sudden, Dan looked up and me and smiled and started to sing the song in a loud voice.  He knew all the words because that was one of the songs he had sung in his Protestant church as a child.  I was so taken aback I started to cry and the minister came over to me and asked me why I was crying.  I tried to explain to this kind man that I had not been able to get Dan to sing or join in any of the other services and I was so startled and happy to hear him sing.  The minister just said “Praise the Lord.”  And I did.  Thank you God for letting me hear my Daniel sing that song.  I will never forget it.

 

My dear Daniel passed away about a year ago and I still miss him terribly.  I know that he would not want me to feel so sad and so I have become very active in so many things locally.  I joined two local bowling groups, two country-line dancing groups, still work part-time two days a week as secretary and work out at the local gym every other day.  I just wish I knew what to do to not feel so lonely.  I miss going to the movies with someone, stopping for a bite to eat with someone, going for a walk with someone, just sitting and talking with someone.    For all of you who are still married – you are so fortunate to have someone in your life.  Enjoy every moment you have together and when you go to bed at night, thank God for all his blessings.

 

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Message 13 of 14

MY LOVE STORY - PART 1

 

 

April 15, 1998

 

 

It is 6AM and my son and I are sitting in the waiting room of a hospital in New Brunswick.  My husband Ted was having emergency surgery and we were waiting for it to be over.  I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I remember was my son saying “Mom, mom, the nurse wants to talk to you.”  I opened my eyes and looked up and the nurse said “The doctor would like to talk to you.”  So, we both got up and followed her into one of the nicest rooms I have ever seen in a hospital.  It looked more like a living room.  There were comfortable chairs, furniture, lamps, etc.  We had only sat down for a minute before the door opened and people started coming in to join us.  There were nurses, other people I could not recognize and then finally the doctor came in.  I looked at his face and directed my first question to him.  “Well doctor, how bad is it?”   He looked at me and said “Well, we operated on your husband and used the heart/lung machine and when the operation was over, we turned the machine off but your husband’s heart would not start.”   He then went on talking, telling me about all the heroic things they tried to do and his words were lost to me.  I was waiting to hear the “really bad news about how ‘bad it was’ and I paid no attention to what he was talking about.  When he stopped talking, I started to really absorb what he said and I asked him “what do you mean, his heart wouldn’t start – are you trying to tell me that my husband is dead?”  He said ‘yes’.  For a moment, his words hung in the air and I couldn’t or wouldn’t believe him.  Then, in the next moment, I felt angry and said to him “but, you told me his heart was strong”.  He very calmly said to me “that was before the staph infection went through his system and to his heart area.” I looked again at all the people in the room and now I ‘knew’ why they were there.  One was a nurse holding smelling salts and one was a hospital administrator and one was a chaplain.  My brain was racing with one thought after another and there was so much that I wanted to say but no words would come out of my mouth.  I felt as if I were paralyzed.  I remember my son taking my arm and guiding me out of the room.  I remember my son saying that he would drive me home and I remember saying that I wanted to drive my own car home but I asked him to follow me.   When I got home I pulled into the driveway, and went into the kitchen and sat down and just sat there for the longest time.  My son arrived and sat there with me.  After a while, I asked him to make all the arrangements and he said he would.  He got on the phone and made all the calls necessary, the Social Security office, the companies that handled insurance, etc.  I called my daughter and she drove right out to be with me. 

 

This was not supposed to happen.  A while back, Ted’s doctor said that he needed a heart valve replacement.  I remember him telling us “We do it every day – just like tonsils – no danger.”  Well, there was danger – a lot of it.  Evidently while in the hospital, Ted was infected by a staph infection.  In no time it went through his whole body.  They tried giving him the strongest medicines but nothing worked.  They brought in specialists in the field and even they couldn’t help.  Ted kept telling me that he wanted to go home.  I asked the doctors if I could treat him at home but he said that I couldn’t do at home what the nurses are trained to do in the hospital.  He completely lost his appetite.  We kept bringing in things that he loved to eat but he wouldn’t touch them – he just laid there and he didn’t look good.  It was the night before Easter and about 1 or 2 in the morning; I was woken up by a phone call the hospital.  It was Ted’s doctor and he informed me that Ted was quite sick and needed immediate surgery.  I said that I would be right down.  Before I left I called my son Rick.  He said he would stop by and pick me up but I said no, I lived closer to the hospital and I would be there quicker.  And then on Easter morning Ted died.  It all happened so fast, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

 

The next few days are a blur.  Going to the funeral home, picking out flowers, calling people – making arrangements.  I do remember the many, many people who showed up for his funeral.  There were so many people waiting outside to get in and the room inside was filled to capacity.  I think I was in a state of disbelief – how did this happen?  I still don’t have any answers.

 

I do remember getting very angry.  I remember going to his closet and dresser and taking everything in it and stuffing everything into plastic bags.  I asked my son to take all the bags to the place where people come in looking for clothes, etc.  After he did this, I looked around and everything in the room just looked so empty.  I felt as empty as the room.  My whole life felt empty.

 

I think the fact that I was still working full time is what saved my sanity.  I was so busy at work that I didn’t have time to think about anything except work.  I guess I was one of their best workers.  Sometimes I even went in on Sundays and worked.   During the next few weeks an opening occurred at work as secretary to the President of the company.  I knew I could do the work but I never gave it a thought to apply for the job since I was very happy at present working for the Vice-President.  All the other secretaries were all excited and were putting in their application for this top-level position.  One morning as I had just gotten into the elevator to take me up to the floor where I worked, the President’s current secretary came up to me and asked me why I hadn’t applied for the top job.  I smiled and told her that I was very happy in my present position and that I liked working for the V.P.  That same day I got a telephone call from her.  She said that the President of the company asked her to find out why I had not applied for the position as his secretary.  I was sort of taken aback but I nicely replied again that I like the present job that I had and had no intention of leaving....   Evidently, the President called my boss and persuaded him to “talk to me”.  My boss came into my office that afternoon and told me that the big boss was putting pressure on him – he wanted him to convince me to apply for the job as his secretary.  I could tell that my boss was a little upset and embarrassed by even talking about the subject.  I said to him – “do you want me to apply?”  He looked down and sort of smiled and said “Yes- Dolores – the boss is really leaning on me but – I don’t want you to do something that you don’t want to do but…..”   I sort of felt sorry for him that he had been put to so much trouble – for me.  He was a wonderful boss and I smiled and told him that I would do it.  He smiled and thanked me and walked back to his office. 

 

The next day I sent email to the President’s secretary that I was applying to be her replacement and she gave me an appointment to meet with him that morning.  The appointment was for 10:30AM and when I showed up, I was led into his large, sprawling suite and sat down in front of him.  He smiled and said “Dolores, I am SO happy to hear that you are applying for the position as my secretary.  I have heard such great remarks about you over the years from so many of my staff.  One the remarks that I have heard is that “if you want something done right and quick, give it to Dolores .”   I smiled and said, “Yes – I do like to work – in fact, I have always liked to work and I’ve been working since I was 14 years old.”  He laughed and said to me:  “when can you start?  That sort of startled me because I knew many of the other secretaries were applying for the position.  I told him that he should work out the details with his vice president.  He smiled and shook my hand and said he was very happy to have me in his office.

 

I started to work for the president the following week and I do mean work.  He was a slave driver but then I always knew that from what I’d heard.  He was always travelling and he would call me from wherever he was and dictate the viewgraphs that I had to make and email to him.  He would think nothing of calling me on a Sunday morning when I was getting ready to go to church and give me a long list of “to-do’s” for the next day.  He would even call me late at night and dictate a letter or two or give me instructions on what he needed me to do the next day.  I guess it was good that I was so busy – it made the days, weeks, months just fly by and for that I was grateful.   So I sort of developed some kind of ritual where I would go to church on Sunday and then I would drive to the mall and have lunch and then I would go to a movie.  That was my routine for quite a while.  I didn’t like being at home all alone – so being busy at work all week and then spending Sunday at the mall seemed to be working out well.

 

I do have to admit that sometimes he drove me crazy.  He was always very nice to me – he just expected me to be on call 24/7.  He was busy himself – always travelling and bringing in contracts from all over the world.  I was in charge of the contracts which meant that I had to stay late many nights.  When we were awarded the contract, everyone always got a bonus – including me.   On one of those negotiations we were having with a very large corporation, he was working even harder than ever.  Again, I was in charge of the contract which was over 100 pages and growing.  I had to work late so many nights in the conference room with my boss, our lawyers and top engineers.  Every time a change was made in the contract, I was the one who had to type it.  Then I had to email the contract to the client’s lawyers showing all changes in color and wait for their response.  We were getting down to the wire one night and I was thinking to myself – “I can’t wait for this negotiation to be over.”   After two weeks of this, we had reached the deadline.  The client had to have the completed contract in their hands by 8AM the next day.  Of course, I stayed really late that night – got all the changes made – and got home quite late.  I had to be back at my desk early the next morning when I was going to email them the contract but at least I felt a little relaxed because it was almost over.

 

The next morning I got in early and found that my boss had made further changes to the contract. I though I was going to lose it.  I had little time to make all his changes and get it emailed by the deadline.  I felt myself shaking.  Well, I got it done and emailed.  And yes, the client signed it and emailed it back.  Everyone was very happy and especially me since my boss gave me a $5,000 bonus check for all my work.

 

Now, to get back to a few days earlier, one of the girls in the next office saw I was waiting for the client to email back the contract with their changes and she  dropped a piece of paper on my desk.   There was a website written on it.  It said My One and Only.Com.  She said to me “Dee, you have got to check this out!” and she was laughing.  So, since I had nothing to do while I was waiting for the client to respond, I went on to that website and saw pictures of so many men and a write-up next to each picture.  I thought to myself “Oh I would never email any of these people – I don’t even know them.”  However, at the very end of the page there was a write-up with no picture.  I read the write-up and whoever had written it had a knack for creative writing.  It was so beautiful that before I logged off, I sent that person an email saying that he had a talent for writing and that he should pursue it.  Then I went back to my work.

 

The next morning when I logged in, there was a response from the person I had emailed the night before.  He thanked me for my kind words and started to tell me all about himself.  Wow – he sure knew how to write – I didn’t know he had been an English teacher.  I quickly answered his email with a few lines and then went to work.

 

Well, every morning that I logged in, there was an email from this Daniel.  It was short but full of information about him and his family, etc.  I would answer it briefly and then get back to work.  Believe it or not, this went on for months.  One day he sent me an email and said, “You know, we have been emailing each other for quite some time and I was wondering if we could ever meet for lunch one day.”    All of a sudden I was apprehensive, thinking this guy could be “Jack the Ripper” for all I know – I better be very careful.  I sort of stalled him saying I was really busy, etc. etc.  A couple of months later he brought it up again.  I thought to myself, well he’s a retired teacher, he must be a good person and I never take any days off, so I agreed to meet him for lunch at the  mall. 

I arranged with Personnel to take a day off – the first time I think I ever applied for a day off.  In fact, I had lost so many vacation/sick days because I never used them.

 

So I drove to the mall to meet this man called Daniel.  We met at the appointed restaurant and he had flowers for me.  He was very, very nice, very polite and well spoken.  I could tell that he was a man of high intelligence.  He told me all about his family; he had four sons, and some grandchildren.  It was afternoon when we met for lunch but by the time we left the restaurant and he walked me back to my car, it was dark out.  Dan always said that I did all the talking but that’s not true.  He had lots of things to talk about. Well, we went back to emailing each other every day for a couple more months and then one day he asked me if I could come to his house for dinner on Sunday. All his sons and their families were gong to be there and he would like me to meet them.  He said he would pick me up and drive me so I wouldn’t have to worry about getting lost, etc.  I thought about it for a day or two and then I decided to tell him I would be happy to meet his family for dinner.

 

I

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Share your love story here!

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Message 14 of 14

So many of you have such great love stories - we would love to read them and have you share them with our community.  Tell us about yours!

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