By Edith Morgan
Now you know: I was the first family member to get divorced, after 26 years of marriage. I stayed single from 1976 to 2013, busy with career, studying, being active in politics and in my community – and usually “going out” with a whole series of interesting male companions, but never ending up in a truly loving and permanent relationship.
Once I reached the age of 80, I rather assumed that I was past the age of “romantic love” and did not really expect it to strike me so late in life, set in my ways, independent, and with a full existence, financially able to sustain myself, well settled with friends and neighbors and many solitary and social activities filling my time. But, trying to be “modern,” I joined “Match.com” and began to look over the many profiles of men wanting to find someone. I had learned to look for certain things in those profiles, eliminating some right off, questioning others, and contacting those that remained.
While I am Jewish I am not rabidly so, and have spent most of my life among non-Jews, but I felt that there would be too great a gap between us if I got involved with someone who was a practicing Catholic. But then fate took a hand, and I was contacted by a man whom I had passed over: His name was Guy and he lived on Long Island, outside the perimeter I had decided on. He was Catholic and seemed not to share my interests. But he was insistent, and we talked on the phone – conversations which stretched into hours – the upshot being that he came to Worcester. And the rest is history!
We were only six months apart in age, but we began the alternating weekend commute, 250 miles each way (he was still working, so it had to be weekends). He was quite certain about his feelings toward me, but I was more hesitant. Nevertheless, on one of our Long Island excursions to Acadia National Park, he took me entirely by surprise and proposed marriage on top of Mt. Cadillac.
As those of you who knew us both soon realized, we really grew to love each other and became inseparable. We got married in September 2013, living here in Worcester. (two really CAN live as cheaply as one!!) It really seemed a marriage made in heaven: unburdened by the problems that usually create so much friction and argument among younger couples, we seemed to agree eventually on most things. Each respected the other’s ideas and opinions, often ending up on the same side.
And we gave each other time to pursue our own interests, some shared, some not. Guy made jewelry and we went to Beading Workshops where he found so many ideas for his own creations. He accompanied me to my political gatherings and listened patiently to my partisan rantings. We travelled across America to visit his sister in Arizona, fraternity brothers in California and Wisconsin, and my relatives in California and Minnesota. And always Guy was affectionate and considerate – and I reciprocated. We rather expected to “ride off into the sunset” together.
But that was not to be. He was brought down by a series of debilitating illnesses, one after the other, until he could no longer fight them and, at last, I brought him home to live out his last days in hospice in our Worcester living room.
But despite the pain of loss I still feel, I am so grateful that I had an unconditional, true love so late and so unexpectedly in my life – so rare and beautiful … but so brief …