Three Stories on Aging Love

Most love stories focus on the beginning, maybe on the demise of love. I've recently become aware of how much I love hearing about love in its old age. Three examples:

1. Modern Love, The Race Grows Sweeter, podcast read by Mary Chapin Carpenter 
I love Modern Love about 75% of the time and love the podcast, where actors read the essays and then the authors discuss them, about 50% of the time. This one was a slam dunk and made me tear up while cleaning my bathroom. It's about a woman who finds love in old age. Mary Chapin Carpenter does a beautiful reading, and talks in the podcast of how much she loves 'old love' (enough to write a song about it).  A quote:
OLD LOVE is different. In our 70s and 80s, we had been through enough of life’s ups and downs to know who we were, and we had learned to compromise. We knew something about death because we had seen loved ones die. The finish line was drawing closer. Why not have one last blossoming of the heart?
I was no longer so pretty, but I was not so neurotic either. I had survived loss and mistakes and ill-considered decisions; if this relationship failed, I’d survive that too. And unlike other men I’d been with, Sam was a grown-up, unafraid of intimacy, who joyfully explored what life had to offer. We followed our hearts and gambled, and for a few years we had a bit of heaven on earth.

2. My Young Man, by Kate Rusby 

I sing Kate Rusby to Jamie as lullabyes a lot. Her songs are beautiful stories and her range is in my wheelhouse. This wonderful song is a woman singing of her aging husband, who is now frail and needy, and how much she still loves and needs him. 

Listen to it.

My young man wears a frown

With his eyes all closed and his head bowed down,
My young man never sleeps.
The rain it falls upon his back
The dust before his eyes is black,
Oft the times, oft the times my young man weeps.

My young man wears a coat,
Once, long ago, a bonnie coat
Which my young man wore with pride.
Now I dress the coat all on his back,
For love for him I will not lack,
But to see it now, that collier's coat, I can't abide.

My young man, where's he gone?
Once in his eyes my whole world shone
Now my young man he looks away.
Man and wife we used to be
Now he's like a child upon my knee
And in my arms I help my young man through the day.

A young girl no more am I
But I shall not weep and I will not cry,
For my young man needs me still.
If someone's watching up above
You'll see how much my dear I love,
So leave him here, I need him now and always will.
Oh if someone's watching up above
You'll see how much my dear I love,
And If he must go, let your best angels keep him well

3. The Notebook
I watched the Notebook on Halloween (classic Halloween movie. . .) for the first time in years and I was reminded that however charming (and steamy!) Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams were portraying young love, the real story and true tearjerker was the James Garner/Gena Rowlands telling of old love. What happens when one person outlasts the other, how do they need need and take care of each other. It's inspiring. And the scene where Gena Rowlands remembers and then forgets, James Garner's face is utterly heartbreaking.  I can't find it on YouTube, but I did find this one, which is also sweet.

3 Pieces of a Perfect Thanksgiving

Brian and Heather told us months ago they were thinking of driving down to Utah for Thanksgiving and that they realized they could fit both their family and ours in their van. Squeezing four children and four adults into a van for a 14 hour drive through the middle of the night was enough of a taunt that we took them up on it, but decided to fly home to compensate. It was such a great trip! Here's the recipe for how to make a perfect Thanksgiving:

1. Family. All the family if possible.

Two brothers and their families are already living in Utah, my parents just moved there, so we figured we'd have four out of five kids there for the holiday. Kelsie and Jake live in Florida now so it's a bit of a haul for them and I don't expect them to make it west as often as they do. But they got a great deal and made it happen. On top of that, Trish was able to fly standby to come out for a couple days over the break so even Porter had all his family too. Sometimes when we all get together it's fun in theory but actually really crowded and frustrating, but this time there was enough space between everyone and the houses were laid out in such a way that it didn't feel like nonstop chaos. I LOVE MY FAMILY. We played an elaborate version of a white elephant game one night that was giggly fun. It was SO great to see Jamie play with his cousins. Bonus: I got to meet up with FOUR friends who feel like family. That's holiday efficiency right there.

2. Festivities
Games. Going to see lights at temple square. Taking snowy walks. Eating a Thanksgiving feast. Eating leftovers. Eating pie. Sitting around listening to the guitar. Christmas decorations. Breakfast out at Kneader's.

3. My parents
Okay, most people don't have this as an option, but my parents are really the best. They moved earlier this year and even though it's not like I saw them tons before they moved, I really underestimated how much I had been missing them. I feel so so so lucky to have two models of unconditional love. They are tireless, generous, and talented.

Lucky me!