My mother was widowed at age 52. My dad had been ill for years and she served that time as both caregiver and breadwinner. It wasn't until I had passed that milestone in age that I realized just how young she was and how much living she still had to do.
And Live she has.
She met her Ray nine years later, two years after the passing of his Nell.
It happened in the foyer of my home, through his then teenage grandson who was a friend of my then teenage daughter. Just a chance meeting...or a set-up, I do not know. What I do know is that sparks flew, heart shaped arrows cris-crossed the room and I am pretty sure I heard some bells ringing.
They were married a few years later in a wedding with all the trimmings, the grandson and granddaughter serving as honor attendants. White gown, walk down the isle, smashed cake feeding...all of it. Luckily, I talked her out of the veil.
They exchanged vows in front of the very same Altar that my dad's coffin had rested for his funeral.
There was something unquestionably very comforting in that for me.
It was a very happy day indeed.
Ray is a good man.
I do not think he is capable of uttering an unkind word.
His wisdom, work and companionship in helping us get this farm going has been immeasurable.
I love to cook for him. The man eats and praises everything I serve. I could listen to stories about his childhood and his mother's ways all day long.
So much still to learn from him.
Here's to ten more, and ten more, and ten more...