Tag Archives for " Love "

Margaret & Jessie: 9th Decade Romance

designJust ran across this little gem and thought I'd share. Moral of the story: you're never too old for romance. (Margaret and Jessie are reunited now. No doubt they are lounging on Heaven's bright shores, cuddling like a couple of teenagers.)

By the time I met Margaret Gill, it had been a long time since she’d buried her first husband. Margaret came to love late the first time—she was in her 50’s then, in her 70’s when he died. And that was really enough. She was surprised by love way back then anyway as she never really expected to have a sweetheart. It was a good marriage too. She spoke of him as you would a good friend—one who had befriended you when you least expected it and stood by you through life’s ups and downs. Margaret clearly had a fondness for husband #1, no doubt about that. But there was no comparison between the way she talked about him, and the way she talked about Jessie.

Jessie and Margaret met in their retirement home. They were married only a short 10 months before he passed away—a tragedy mitigated not one bit by the fact that he was 90 something. They felt an instant attraction to one another and began spending time together going out to dinner, sitting by the fire. After a couple of years, Jessie convinced Margaret to marry him. He was 93 and she was 91 when they tied the knot. (She didn’t wear white as she’d been married before don’t you know.)

“Oh Jessie,” Margaret crooned when recalling their time together. “Never in a lifetime did I expect to experience a love like that. Oh how we loved one another. Jessie . . . he was my life’s gift."

valentine's day loves

Valentine's Day: 5 of My Other Loves

valentine's day lovesIn the US, this week is all about love. Seriously, you can hardly throw a snowball without hitting a discounted heart-shaped box of chocolates.  Mostly, Valentine's Day is about romantic love, or at least love of family and friends. Like many people, I love my family: my husband, kids, parents, and all those other people who by blood or by grace form my inner circles of connection. On Valentine’s Day and every day, those folks are my treasured beloveds. I am truly and infinitely grateful for them.

Today, though, I was thinking of what and who else I love. I came up with a few not-so-obvious picks:

  1. I love people who love their work. Particularly people who are not in what you’d call prestigious jobs. Like today, I’m writing at an Atlanta Bread Company. The lovely cashier smiled warmly as she handed me my cup—all I ordered was a soft drink—and said, “Have a good day!” I’d never have noticed if she hadn’t met my eyes, if she hadn’t been pleasant. But because of her warmth, my day was instantly better, if only for a moment. Cashiers, janitors, sanitation workers, toll booth attendants, ticket takers, receptionists, and so many more could be pardoned for being grumpy at work. They are overworked and underpaid, often either inexperienced or overqualified. Despite all that, such people offer me public  services that make my life easier and often more pleasant. I love that.
  2. I love animal lovers. Years ago, I worked with a woman who had three or four dogs—all large breeds, all well behaved. She adored them. Once she and I were outside and she had her dogs with her. A stranger walked by, scoffing as she looked over the pack. My friend said nothing to the offender but as we walked away, she said to me in a tone that indicated she felt more pity than anger: “There’s something wrong with people who don’t like dogs.” I love animal lovers.
  3. I love sweet ice tea. I mean, I like unsweetened ice tea with added sweetener. That’s fine. But the perfect glass of sweet ice tea is pure perfection. It’s refreshing and indulgent. I love it.
  4. I love volunteers: people who give their free time to make the world better in some small way. Maybe they work with kids at church, patients in hospitals or inpatient care facilities, or help with voting. I know people who make it their business to see that children have the necessary school supplies, that flower beds are weed-free, that the refrigerators of homebound folks are stocked. Isn’t that amazing? I love that.
  5. I love a warm sweater. You know what I mean, right? Not just a fashionable garment designed for winter wear, but the rare sweater that snuggles with you. I’ve got two—one my sister gave me in the early 90’s, and one I got for Christmas in 2014. Life is just better when I’m wearing one of those wooly cuddlers. I positively love them.

That’s just a few of my loves. How about you? What do you love?

Billie Placey Aging Gracefully

Aging Gracefully: The Communion of Saints

The end of 2007 began a two-year period in which I experienced one loss right after the other. One of the first deaths was Billie Placey, a beloved grandmother in the Sunday morning Bible study class I was teaching. She was a beautiful, young, energetic woman, even in her 80's. The aggressive cancer that gripped her seemed incongruous with her gentle, vibrant spirit. Immediately after her death and for some time following, her absence filled our classroom.

Here's a piece I wrote the day she died. As I read it today, I was reminded of how very grateful I am for the communion of saints. I am indeed surrounded by a blessed, great crowd of witnesses.

The Sweet By and “Bye”

©2007 Aileen Mitchell Lawrimore

Tonight, Billie Placey left this world for the next; she died at hospice. I saw her yesterday for the last time. When I saw her, we talked about how wonderful heaven would be. “No more tears,” I said, my face close to hers. She smiled, drew a ragged breath, and shook her head, whispering, “No more tears.” “No more pain,” I said, and she echoed my words. “You’re going to be a brand new creation.” “Yes, I am,” she said, peaceful and assured.

And then she caught sight of Jack, standing at the foot of her bed, tears dripping from his nose, his chin. She looked at me and said, “I have a wonderful and gallant husband.”

 “Yes you do.”

 “I’m going to miss him,” she said, her face folding into a frown as Jack hurried to her side. She reached for him and they snuggled and kissed salty kisses, murmuring sweet everythings to each other.

Jack walked me out and showed me a picture of Billie when she was 18 or 20. “This is what she looked like when we got married,” he said. “It’d she beautiful?” (I’m not sure he saw the difference between that teenager in the picture and the octogenarian dying on the other side of the door.) We stood there, both of us crying. “I’m sorry, Jack, I’m not really holding it together for you today.”

“Well, honey that’s alright,” he said, taking off his glasses and wiping fresh tears on his sleeve before putting his glasses back on. “But, you know, we cry for ourselves. Cause Billie’s going to a better place. She’s going to be better than she’s ever been. She’s going to be great. We’re just crying for ourselves right now because there’s no point in crying for Billie. Billie’s going to be just fine.  I just wish I could go with her. . . .”