Just a few hours ago, my cousin was married at a beautiful church just minutes from picturesque Florida beaches covered in white sand. A reception followed afterwards, held at a luxurious venue featuring a pool, hammocks, food, and other instruments of enjoyment and relaxation. Throughout the heartfelt wedding ceremony and the lovely gathering that followed, I think that everyone in attendance felt a spirit of love in the air. As the new husband and wife danced to a slow tune, onlookers cried softly and cheered loudly, experiencing the beauty of love before them.
During this celebration of love, another romance came to my attention: that of my relative Carolyn's. Carolyn is my grandfather's niece, which makes her my second cousin once removed or something to that effect. Regardless of her exact relation, I absolutely love Carolyn. She is intelligent, funny, talented, easy to talk to, very caring, and overall, a really wonderful woman. She reminds me a lot of my grandmother. Carolyn is 76 years old - 76! And yes, I introduced her first by talking about a romance of hers! I can imagine some of you being confused at this point so let me explain.
Carolyn was married happily to a man named Ruhl (not sure if I spelled it correctly) for dozens of years. Together they had three children who have grown up to be wonderful people. Unfortunately, somewhere between 12-15 years ago, Ruhl passed away. Thus, for the last several years, Carolyn has been living on her own as a widow, not even "noticing men," according to her.
Tonight at the wedding reception, however, Carolyn sounded as though she was a teenage schoolgirl again. Over the past couple of months, she has been spending time with Bill, a man from her church that has been her friend for 54 years. Both had been married to other people who had sadly passed away, but were now really enjoying each other's company.
For the better part of an hour, Carolyn, the mother of three, grandmother of nine, regaled the family with the tale of this blossoming romance. The story of how he had called her to ask her to lunch and the drama of them agreeing to sit next to each other in church were of particular interest. She spoke of Bill's caring attitude as he raised his children and his admirable religious standards. My relative Glen, her son, joked that she talked more about Bill in 15 minutes than he had about any woman he'd ever dated!
While listening Carolyn talk so excitedly about this man, I felt such happiness for her. At the same time that young love was being sealed in marriage, Carolyn's joy at the outset of a new relationship reminded me that love is a timeless force, capable of infecting young and old with the same giddiness, energy, and excitement. I concur wholeheartedly with my relative Steve's comment: "It just makes you happy to hear people talk excitedly about love!"