I married my best friend 25 years ago. I remember those strong feelings of love that would last forever. I finally found the love of my life- late in life and post cancer, at the age of 44. I was just getting to the top of the hill where there would be no one left to choose from, and he appeared. Just like in the movies, I thought I would be one of those desperate women on the prowl looking for any mate to make babies with before that ship passes. But my ship had past so there was no aspiration for baby making and he was good with that. He had a strong history of heart attacks in his family and had no intention to passing on those genes.
I had seen how that desperation and strategy failed time and time again with girlfriends. There was Denise who wed and had two children late in life only to have her truck driving husband abandon her and two kids, leaving her homeless for a couple of years. There was also Annette, who married late in life only to find she had a rare illness and became economically dependent on her husband who emotionally abused her.
To say I didn’t have any good role models is an understatement. All of my friends were on their second and third marriages by the time I had my first. I was always late to a party.
No children no pets, both of us deep on the career path. Any chance we could get, we would travel the globe. As all idyllic relationships in the movies, tragedy strikes, and it was a whopper. A car accident caused by a girlfriend who was driving too fast in the rain, left me in the ICU and then the hospital for 5 months. During that time I lost my business and my home- but not my marriage. He found the strength to sell my business, move us into an apartment, and take a leave of absence from his work. I was fortunate.
It’s always a Hallmark movie when the partner can rise to the occasion to be there for their spouse. I realize now why that pull is so strong. It’s because it is so rare.
Now 18 years later, we have settled into a life where we know that anything could go wrong at any time, and we both would need to rise to the occasion, and we would. We are here and the flame has died but we now tolerate each other wishing for another now that is yet to come-knowing that the movie will end soon.