Tuesday, April 10, 2012

An Ancient and New love Story

I heard what to me is a great love story and wonderful life.
See what you think.

A man and woman met in a yoga class a few years ago, and rapidly fell in love. Both, in fact,called it the love of their lives. Both had been married happily for many years to other people. Both were widowed.

Both were in their late 80s.

They had had happy lives. They had been active in community and work. Both had family they adored. Both were so very fit in their late 80s. How many at any age meet in a yoga class?

They fell deeply in love. They thought marrying was silly at their ages, but both saw their doctors. The doctors said they probably could both count on five to ten years more of life. So they married.

They had a ball. The time of their lives. She went to yoga four times a week. Don't know what he did, besides continuing his own yoga. Both had been community activists. Both had been physically active and mentally active as well. Both had close family and many friends.

I look at the vibrancy, the passion of this couple near 90, and I am amazed and maybe, just a little hopeful. How beautiful. How just downright beautiful.

Actually, both had passed 90 two weeks or so ago when she was rushed to the hospital. She had a bleeding ulcer that had burned through the stomach wall. I think that is what I heard. What I did hear was that she had an open wound that would require a year to heal, mostly in bed. The emergency surgery had prompted kidney failure and she would need dialysis. Her world would become an invalid's, not the one she had always known.

She looked at it clear-eyed and chose hospice. Her husband understood and supported her. It took her less than a week to die. Triumphant. Living on her own terms. No burden to anyone, and still living a life she loved. She had almost the five years the doctors thought she would have. They both had so many memories to make them smile. And her children came around. They loved her very much.

Somehow, they rejoiced. Her husband had already said he fully understood.

A friend of the family gave me the basic details. The obituary gave me more.
She was 91. Somehow, she managed to live and die on her own terms. After a long, happy marriage, she found a lifetime love. She worked fiercely for causes she believd in. She had daughters she loved and was proud of. Family.

She could have held on, taking the reduced circumstances and invalidism, and for some, that is right. For this woman, no quarter. No compromise. Life fully involved--or death.

To me, this is a beautiful love story. Hope you agree.

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