Letters to Leo and Grady

Older Men

The man I have loved for 43 years is eight years older than I am. I have a vivid memory of seeing him for the first time. There was no way to get to my new job by public transportation back in 1965, and my first car, a red VW bug, had not come to the car dealer on time, so my new employer arranged for me to be picked up at a subway stop, and my ride to work (believe it or not in his red VW bug) was Peter. Of course I remember what I was wearing that July day, and I remember his light blue sports jacket. I had no idea if he was single. (He was.)

Three years later, we were married. By then, we didn't work at the same place, and I can remember coming home from work day after day with butterflies of excitement in my stomach at the thought of seeing him. It was the same kind of feeling as being excited about a date. I never gave a thought to his being eight years older.

But things are a bit different now that I have turned 70 and he is 78. Although he is pretty healthy, the odds are strong that I will outlive him. He's always been an absent-minded professor, but now he seems a bit more forgetful. He claims to have less energy. We do worry about each other more now, and I often wish that he too were 70.

Now he is usually home before me, and when I open the door and I hear his "Hi honey!" my first response is relief, knowing that he is fine. Then I feel the butterflies.


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