The Race Grows Sweeter in the Final Lap

There is a show on Amazon Prime called Modern Love.  It tells all sorts of stories about love – dating, marriage, adoption, young love and the episode we watched last night was about love between two older adults.

It starts with a road race.  A seventy year old woman has her eye on this distinguished, very slow running, soft-spoken gentleman.  She finishes the race before him but waits at the finish line to engage this man she’s had her eye on for some time.

At their first dinner together, Margo tells Ken, I have respect for your 35 year marriage and your sweet wife Betty, but I think you might have room in your heart for me.

He did.

It’s funny to think about folks in their 70’s having crushes and starting over.  But not being as far from that decade as I’d like, it is less surprising than it might have been ten years.  Julie and I are Margo and Ken, minus a few years.

The connection between them is sweet… and funny… and electric.  They sit in bed snuggled tightly together at night.  They read together, have afternoon drinks in their garden, run, go to parties – eyeing across the room – clearly more interested in each other than anyone else.

It doesn’t take long for the viewer to realize there are two story lines in this show.  One is the building of their relationship.  The other is Margo dealing with the loss of her new lover.  It isn’t clear how much time they had together, but this touching love story wasn’t a long one.  It was, however, maybe the most powerful of the series.

As Julie and I sat in the den watching our TV, the tears just flowed.  As Margo shared at Ken’s funeral:

Old love is different – it’s more realistic. We had already been through many ups and  downs in life.  We had learned to compromise, survived loss and mistakes.  Yes, old love is different, and yet it is also the same.  Ken and I did everything that young people do – fell in love, traveled, planted a garden, remodeled a house.  He called me sweetheart and on nights when were out a party, we came home after and sat on the rim of the bathtub, flossing our teeth, and gossiping about the evening.  Every time we passed each other in the house, Ken made it a point to stop and kiss me or squeeze my shoulder or grab my hand (maybe because he was afraid he might lose one he loved again; I get that).  He and I often told each other we are so lucky. 

Young love, even for old people, can be surprisingly bountiful.

Margo’s words rang true for us.  We have had our own ups and downs.  We have loved before.  We have had hope.  We have lost.  We have grown.  Our life maturity has led us to an honest, real, and different sort of connection.

Many couples meet later in life.  I think many also reinvent their relationship as time goes by.  My hope is that all have the opportunity to experience mature, honest love.  It takes a lot to get there:  pain, suffering, loss, and a few hard knocks.  But if you’re open and willing, if you pour in, you might receive in beautiful ways.

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2 Comments

  1. Jane Scott

     /  January 1, 2020

    I’m the blessed recipient of a very fine man’s love. It was a second for us both; he was in his late sixties and I in my early sixties. The honesty, the respect, the fun, the depth of our hearts’ sharing from our earlier lives, both love and subsequent deep pains, were great and gracious blessings. We had 10 years together and then a car accident and full time care for many years. I understand and I know your hearts cannot believe the hope and joy you have. Austin and I always gave God the gratitude we felt in this mutually blessed love we shared.
    Not all family members will totally understand and being sensitive to this is delicate….it’s not easy to share a parent or a friend or a son or a daughter and it seems disloyal to our first loves and families. It’s not….those loves for us never diminished, it’s just they were no longer available to us. Those first loves are not available, at least in that original family, to the ones who still hold that hurt and bereavement and hardly know where to place it especially when we, the newly loved, seem so happy. It just is hard, period. The loss of original family comes back to those who now are asked to be happy for us. No matter the child, someone is in the position of mom or dad that is not mom or dad….not that the new person isn’t liked, the pain of the position being filled can’t help but isolate bc the newly happy parent is in ways disappearing from them, too.
    I’m very very happy you can share your lives together and as your children move into more permanent relationships and grow they, too, will have a person with whom they can share their hearts. None of us ever like to hear, “ it just takes time”, none of us!
    So as time passes may you always be open to hearing and seeing each person around you and lessening their fears of isolation from you.
    Go out, friends, and love and bless the world, sharing your passion which wells from your grateful hearts.
    Jane

    Reply
    • Danny Tanner

       /  January 12, 2020

      Beautifully said – sounds like you’ve lived it and truly understand!

      Reply

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