Love Can Happen At Any Age

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Photo by Jenna Norman on Unsplash

People stare at us.  I know that it’s because we are an interracial couple and it’s obvious that I’m older than him.  I see the way the young women look at him as if to could almost hear them ask, why are you with her?  I used to ask myself the same question too.  Josiah is a very handsome man.  He could have any woman he wanted and yet, he chose me, a woman in her early fifties who is peri-menopausal and who has never been able to have children.

Three years ago, Josiah and I met on a Mediterranean cruise.  He was there with friends and I was here with my sister Janet and her husband, Donald.  From the first moment I saw Josiah I was quiet taken by him but I didn’t entertain any notion that he would be interested in me.  He was in his late thirties and I was one month shy of turning fifty-one.  He had his pick of many young and beautiful women.  There’s no way that he would even look in my direction.  I was wrong.

I remember the first time we spoke as if it happened yesterday.  I was standing on the deck one evening, admiring the setting sun as it hovered over the sea when someone suddenly materialized beside me.  I turned and my heart skipped at beat (imagine, at my age) when I saw how it was.  This close, he was extremely good-looking.  And he had the most incredible green eyes I had ever seen.  And an incredible smile too I soon realized when his lips parted to reveal even white teeth.  “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” I said, referring to the sunset and wondering if I sounded as nervous as I felt.

“Yes, it is,” he agreed, his eyes never leaving my face.  “The sunsets are usually like this in these parts.”

“So, you’ve been in the Mediterranean before?”

“Yes.  Years ago I was on a cruise with my family.  It was a graduation gift.”

“This is my first cruise.”

He held out his hand.  “Josiah.”

I shook it.  “Margaret.  My family and friends call me Maggie.”

“I think Margaret better suits you.  It’s elegant.”

That made me feel really good.  He thought I was elegant.  Was it possible for a fifty-year old woman to feel like this—giddy?  “Thank you,” I managed to say.

“Are you married?” he asked.

I shook my head.  “No.  I’ve never been married.  What about you?”

“I’m not married and I’ve never been.  After dinner this evening, will you join me on the top deck lounge for a cocktail?”

“Yes.”

He smiled.  “Great.  I look forward to seeing you later.”  He excused himself and walked away.

I watched him go and then, I returned to admiring the sunset.  After dinner, I headed for the private top-deck lounge while Janet and Donald went to see that night’s entertainment.  Josiah was already there and his expression brightened when he saw me.  He stood up as I approached held out the chair for me.  I saw the way his eyes traveled over me and the admiration on his face.  “You look amazing,” he said as he sat down.

“Thank you,” I replied, feeling very shy.  It had been a long time since a man paid me such a compliment.  “You look very handsome.”

He grinned.  “Thank you.  What would you like to drink?”

“A virgin Pena Colada, please.”

He signaled to the waiter and gave him our orders.  He soon returned with my virgin Pena Colada and a Citrus Peach Cooler which looked really good.  I made up my mind that I was going to have one the next time Josiah and I had drinks together.  Over our drinks, we talked about all sorts of things.  We had such a wonderful time, getting to know each other.  It was after midnight when he walked me to my cabin. 

As we stood outside the door, he asked me to go with him when we went to port.  I readily accepted and we were inseparable after that.  I introduced him to Janet and Donald and they each took an immediate liking to him.  His friends were warm and welcoming.  On the last night of the cruise, he proposed and I accepted.  We got married in an intimate but elegant ceremony and honeymooned in the South of France. 

I must mention that before he proposed, I told him how old I was and that I couldn’t have children.  None of that mattered to him.  He said to me, “I can live without a lot of things, including children, but I can’t live without you.” My response was to burst into tears.

And now, three years later, we are spending a month in beautiful Capri, enjoying another sunset over the sea, more in love with each other.  I hear a woman remark to her friend as she walked by us, “They make such a lovely couple, don’t they?”  I smiled.

And then, I felt Josiah kiss me on my shoulder.  I turned my head towards him.  In my heart, I thanked God for blessing me with such an incredible man.  It didn’t matter what people thought when they looked at us.  All that mattered was we loved each other.  He was my world and I was his and God was at right smack in the center.

I think love can happen at any age… it has no age – Shah Rukh Khan

Source:  Cruise Critic

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