I haven’t posted on my blog for a long time, because I have been absorbed in the process of getting married.
Such a process. And we started out saying we wanted a simple wedding. But even with a simple wedding, there were so many details to attend to: creating a guest list, designing an invitation, finding a venue, researching a caterer, choosing a menu, manifesting table decorations—and on and on.
But we did it all, and now we are wed. Clay Elliott is my beloved husband. It is very good.
The most important part of the preparation was creating the ceremony, which we did with our dear friend Cedar, who was also our minister.
What promises do we make, we asked each other, when we marry at the age of eighty? And we found that they were the same promises we had made long ago when we married in our youth. The language of love and commitment is archetypal, timeless.
But now, some sixty years later, these words—to love, honor, comfort and cherish, ’til death do us part—have deeper, richer meaning, seasoned by the experiences of our previous marriages and by the tempering of some sixty more years of living. All the hopes and disappointments, the unrealistic expectations, the gifts, the fears, the mistakes, and the many good times, have shaped us, carved us out, so we can hold more. This love has never been the crazy love of desperation that I wrote about in an earlier post, “The Insanity of Falling In Love.” From the beginning it has been gentle, fun, growing gradually, sweet.
When I was married the first time, at age eighteen, I was full of dreams, but I didn’t understand unconditional love as I am learning to understand it now. I don’t think I understood commitment at all. How could I? I was barely more than a child, though I would soon become a mother and begin to learn about commitment as only a beloved baby can teach you.
Getting married is huge. The commitment is huge. I have promised to love and care for this one dear man, no matter what, for the rest of my life. At this age the no-matter-what contains the sureness that we will face aging and infirmity together and one of us will have to deal with the death of the other. That is, of course, true whenever you marry, but when you marry at the age of eighty, it looms closer. We hope for ten good years together.
We gave been showered with so much love and blessing from our friends, our spiritual communities, our families. Some who have been too long alone and lonely told us that seeing us find each other so late in life gave them hope. It is never too late.
And that is true. It is never too late to find love. Perhaps it is not romantic love, but Love is always there.