Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter - June 2, 2017
There are three parts to today’s newsletter.
Part 1 - Marrying the Church Casserole Ladies. Words of advice from seven Champs to Steve, the recent widower from New York State who was featured in last week's eNewsletter.
Kit, “I’ve been a widow for 25 years+. When I was newly widowed, I went on a few dates. I did it more to convince myself that I was dateable. At the time, I had three sons at home, with the youngest being seven.
"Having a young family without the dad to give me a break occasionally was not what men wanted. Now, at this point in my life, it would be wonderful to have someone special to share my life but I would not remarry.
"From experience, I too urge Steve to get out with groups of people. Maybe there is an organization for people who love muscle cars in his area. This would be a good place for him to start.
"He will be ready to move on with another woman when stripping his home of his wife's special touches does not break his heart. I suggest when he is ready to sell his home, make a new place for himself, to be comfortable in his own singleness. It's then he will be ready to form a new relationship.
"This takes time. As you mentioned, at 66, he has time to heal without being alarmed about being single too long. He has the advantage of being more in demand as a male.
Nikol, “My experience with new widowers: After my husband passed away I attended a grieve-support group at church for a year.
“Men who had lost their wives seemed like they were all in the same big panic to replace their wives. This panic usually lasted two years and after this period of adjustment some of them don’t think about marriage.
“I asked the counselor lady who was comforting the group why. She said that men usually marry very quickly after losing their wives because they are not by nature nest builders and they badly miss their routines.
“After they learn to live alone and make some kind of a nest, they become more comfortable and are in the real world.
Brenda, “Steve is ready to get back into life but he should proceed with caution. He should be honest and not lead anyone on. Friendship first is so important in a relationship. You get this by getting to know someone before ‘dating.’ Honest conversation without overdoing the informational details is a good start.
"As far as muscle cars, I wish he lived closer. He sounds like my kind of guy. I also admire and respect that he is stepping up to care for his in-laws. I hope he doesn’t let anyone interfere with that. Family is family."
Stella, “Steve, whoa, whoa, whoa! At four months widowed, the full impact hasn’t even hit you yet. Allow yourself time to go through all the stages of grief. Get out and about, have fun and be patient. Your time will come…”
Sally, “I’m a widow (Tom, do you remember San Clemente Sal in 1999 in the San Clemente Sun Post News you wrote for then?). I’ve had no movement forward since then despite getting ‘out there’ but I keep on giving smiles to get smiles back.
My dad was married to my mom for 42 years, then he married the church casserole ladies: Verna for 15 years, then Clara five years, then Hazel (at 93) who said to him, ‘No, I won’t marry you because all of your wives die! She was funny and they enjoyed a friendship until dad died at 98—he loved the ladies. Some men just need a wife, nurse or a purse.”
Maria, “Steve is just lonely right now and he’s rushing forward. I’d be scared off if I was asked out by a guy whose partner died five months before.
"I love old cars. There are lots of other women who love them too. That’s a shared enjoyment to start a friendship.”
Joanie, “Steve sounds like a nice man and a good man to take care of his wife's parents, that is very noble.
“He might consider taking dance lessons. There are always more women than men, single women, and it’s a way for him to be social, get out into a social scene, meet many women without having to be on a date, and eventually he will meet one who is compatible with him.
“Many of the women in dance are widows so they will understand his situation, it’s a healthy pastime, and it’s fun, and it gets him out of the house.
“If he likes to travel there are dancing travelogues on ships or flying to other countries or there are many dances in the local areas and many good instructors and dance schools. He will have fun, meet women, and enjoy a variety of people without a commitment.”
Part 2 – “Hold close, but with open hands…”
I heard from another Champ this week, George in San Francisco. We’ve known each other a long time. George knows I worked with and was a friend of Johnny Cash 30 years ago. He sends me old videos and informational tidbits he discovers about the “Man in Black,” which I appreciate.
But this week, George surprised me with an order for three “How 50 Couples Found Love After 50” books he wanted autographed for three of his special friends. George is one of our many Champs whose stories are featured in that book. His story is on page 88.
In September 2007, five months after his wife had died after a long illness, George met a woman named Mareah in a restaurant, Celia’s At-The-Beach Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco. Mareah was a widow.
George and Mareah’s story is heartwarming. They were emotionally supporting and helped each other through the tough times of being widowed. Now, 10 years later, George reports that he and Mareah are “friendly companions.”
Mareah and George on a Princess Line cruise
George is sending books to Mareah’s daughter, and to the Managing Chef at Celia’s, and to an early childhood woman friend. Each book will have a special message from George in it.
He’s a darned good guy. He’s retired from the Coast Guard, but they call him back from time-to-time because he’s a Defense Language Proficiency expert in Russian and sometimes the Coast Guard needs his skills.
George’s ending quote in his email this week showed a wisdom and unselfishness on his part: “I held close (to Mareah) with open hands—so there was no pain as the relationship evolved into what it is today.” In other words, hold your partner close, but give them room to breathe in case things don’t work out.” His ending quote in the book was similar to the email quote.
Part 3 – Champs volunteer on Memorial Day
From Champ Chris, and new wife Tina (their long-distance marriage story was in the February 17, 2017, newsletter) who spent Memorial Day volunteering at the San Clemente Villas By The Sea – a senior living facility in San Clemente, California.
Chris said, “They had a nice Memorial Day Ceremony at the Villas on Monday. We had a group from ROTC do a flag-folding demonstration. There were Boy Scouts who gave every veteran a set of dog tags with their name on them. I led the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem and read a poem titled, “A Veteran Died Today.”
Champ Chris volunteering this Memorial Day
"The officer in charge gave a wonderful speech. It was all followed with a BBQ for everyone. It was a great day.”
By the way, Chris and Tina's story is also in the "How 50 Couples Found Love After 50" book.
If anyone would like to give the book as a gift, contact Tom for details at firstname.lastname@example.org.