Thursday, October 25, 2007

Do You Believe in Love?

As I walk along the river this afternoon, enjoying the colourful autumn leaves, I see a white-haired couple. The man’s arm is thrown around the woman’s shoulders and they speak softly together. Laugh.

After feeding a horde of hungry ducks, I start back home. I meet the same two people, who have also reversed direction. They step aside to let me pass but instead I slow to their pace. They exude contentment and perfect ease with each other and the world. They are also in their 80s and have been married 65 years.

We chat as we stroll in the sunshine. Talking about the past, they tease each other. Flirt. The details of their lives seem ordinary enough – met at the YMCA, had three children, nine grandchildren. He supported her for twenty years as she raised a family; then she entered the workforce. “Everyone loved her,” he says, meaning her co-workers. “And who wouldn’t?” His eyes sparkle as he gazes at her.

She says she had nine brothers and sisters. I ask if they are still around. She says yes, looking confused as he gently reminds her that they have passed on.

In these days of soaring divorce rates and break ups, I find myself moved. Doug and Mary have the kind of love people yearn for when they mention “soul mates.” As a romance writer, I need to believe that love can endure. Today I have living proof.

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