“I used to think that elder love, if it even existed, was confined to rocking chairs or golf carts, that it had to be a dull business because of the physical limitations of age.” – Nora Johnson

Tony and Bunny

Tony and Bunny

Nora Johnson is 71, long divorced and wasn’t really looking for love when she found George, a widowed 83-years young.  For Nora, it just kind of happened.   This is the caption attached to the article, Age is No Obstacle to Love, or Adventure.  Love is one of the most written about, sung about and mysterious concepts in life.  Love is fought over, killed and cried over. And I mean real love. The kind that when you find it, you would do anything to hold on to.  If you are a cynic and feel love can never happen, you may be considered fortunate, because you will never experience the pain that comes with the loss of love. But for that, I feel sorry for you, because that pain is the sweetest kind of pain.”   And for that, I feel sorry for you, because that pain is the sweetest kind of pain.  Makes you know you are alive inside.  If you can endure it, and the healing is done, you grow in wisdom, understanding, and appreciation of all that is around you.  You see things differently and from all sides.  They say the wounds of lost love open those chambers and spaces that otherwise would remain closed and unexplored.

So what about finding love when you are older?  Well, I am in my late 50’s and getting married in a couple weeks to an amazing woman in her early 60’s.  Not quite in the same age bracket as Nora and George.  But there are things I have considered.  We are in good health.  We play music together, which is how we met.  As a couple, we perform regularly at venues here in Galveston.  I am convinced that the love of music is what has cemented our relationship.  When we are not performing or working on new songs, things can get a little anxious in a hurry.  We can’t wait until the regular weekend gig we landed.  It helps us connect with each other as well as to ourselves.  We are two strong personalities when it comes to music.  And I have said that if we can play this kind of music without killing each other, we are meant to be together.  We fell in love almost immediately – like something you just know.  No big fanfare or ‘wow’ moment.  It was just there and we knew it.

Being in the field of Geriatrics, I can’t help but worry sometimes about our future and the inevitable changes that occur with age.  How will we deal with things that can jeopardize what we now have?  Will [insert any health condition – arthritis, dementia, stroke, cancer] impede how we approach our music, our love, our life?   The fear of losing what we have finally found is something we may have no control over and it does scare me.  I certainly didn’t think this way during my first marriage.  It was all about starting a family, getting the career off the ground and trying to make ends meet. We were young and energetic with the whole world in front of us.  But now, this is very different.  My kids are grown.  I am thinking of retirement and will have new chapters in life to take on.  I handle it, I think, by trying to live in the moment.   And realize that no matter what happens, the love we feel for each other will not end.  In a weird kind of way, we can look forward to helping and supporting each other if illness or whatever challenge crosses our path.

What it comes down to is the message in the Nora Johnson article.  Being with George was the ‘loveliest adventure’ and brought joy and magic to her life.  That is how I feel about being with Bunny.  Her love of life is contagious, as is her wonderful quirky ways that seem to blend so well with my own quirkiness.  We are two free souls in a world that promises us absolutely nothing.  We work for what we earn and play like kids in a playground.  And we will always have the music, even if after who knows how many years, the best we may be able to do is hum to each other.  Love really can be found at any age.  I am sure of it.  How do you feel about finding love at any age?

Oh, and a glorious holiday season to you all – no matter how you celebrate it!


Johnson, N. Age Is No Obstacle to Love, or Adventure. New York Times Fashion & Style, September 12, 2013.

Our Guest Blogger this week is Tony DiNuzzo, Ph.D., Director, East Texas Geriatric Education Center/Consortium, UTMB.

Join us for a real-time discussion about questions raised by this essay on Tuesday from 12:00 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. See Discussion and SL tabs above for details. Link to the virtual meeting room: http://tinyurl.com/cjfx9ag.