“Those who love deeply,” Benjamin Franklin once said, “never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young.
It’s relatively easy to write of young love. For there is much to be said about it. The experience of being young and in love sells a lot of books, movies, and TV shows.
When you’re young you’re beautiful, if for no other reason than being young love makes you so.
Okay, we can agree that young love is a piece of cake. What happens when the wedding is over, the cake in your freezer is becoming stale, and you haven’t been fawned over as a ‘cute couple’ for a while?
You age and the on going challenge is to keep the ‘young love’ that resides in the not-so-young body and mind, alive and vital.
Grow old with me
I love my husband more than when I married him. When I was young I didn’t know myself, let alone the man in those presence I would spend the rest of my life.
As a young bride, and later mother, I was a work-in-progress. There was so much I had to learn about myself as well as my spouse. As the years went by, I “lived and learned’ and our young love settled into an old love, but like good wine, it only improved with age.
The best is yet to be
I believe a full life is a life where you love, and are loved. You give yourself to others (helping them, nurturing them) and you work every hard at keeping some of that ‘self’ for you.
The ‘me’ time is not just a cliché’ of the times. It’s important not to lose yourself in the process of loving another. (In a good relationship there is room for ‘self love and ‘other’ love.)
Why is important to love yourself? If you don’t love yourself, you’re sending the message to the world that you’re not worthy of love.
Growing old and growing up
I remember reading once that you don’t fall in love you ‘grow’ in love.
I’m embarrassed to say that when I heard that for the first time, I thought it was one of the most unromantic sayings I’d heard about being in love.
“Grow in love?” I thought. If I have to ‘grow’ in love, falling in love is redundant.
Where’s the candlelight dinner in that? Grow in love—-makes marriage sounds like a garden you have to plant and then wait for something to grow.
With the impatience of youth, I thought “falling” in love was all that was required for the marriage to flourish. We were in love, weren’t we? What more was there?
Well, as I got older, I not only understood the wisdom of that saying, I thought it should be inscribed on one of the two stone tablets that Moses brought down from Mount Sinai.
It could be a P.S: “Thou Shalt not fall in love but grow in love.”
I’m kidding, of course you have to ‘fall’ in love before you can “grow” in love, but I think the growing is the operative word.
Growing is a whole different process than “falling’. Growing takes time and requires work— falling is what you do when you lose your balance.
In July, my husband and I celebrate 47 years of marriage. We’ve been though good times and bad times, but we’re still together.
When we stop growing (and exit this world) we can take comfort in the knowledge that we loved deeply and died young.