Thursday, May 23, 2013

Ah, the power of --- are they really 81 years old?

Safe to say you won’t find “preachy” religion in my Tanner Chronicle stories or this October blog. Though I’m inclined to see and explore what I consider the spiritual side of things, it is never through the eyes of a zealot.

There is, however, one truth that cannot be set aside. Whether in April or October, our lives are apt to be visited by hardship, disappointment, and depression. The problems come in many forms---infirmity, relational problems, financial setbacks, the painful loss of a loved one. No matter what the obstacle and what it requires of us, there is one overriding reality---love, in its many forms, provides the healing we need. 

You may value that truth for it biblical credentials, or because it is one of the few universally accepted facts of life. Regardless of the “why,” you’re likely to believe in its power---because you have experienced the healing of love received, and know that in times of great need what you need most of all is love. That is true at seventeen or seventy, but especially in our October Years. With its unique challenges, there is no other time of life when love is more important.

And coupled with love, at seventeen or seventy, are dreams. The two go hand in hand, reinforcing each other, impacting what we feel, even what we see. It’s a reality I try to capture in my stories, the powerful effect of love on what we think, and feel, and see---the way it adds deeper meaning to everything.

For many of us it’s been that way for a lifetime. Husbands and wives at seventy are very different than they were at twenty-five. Yet because they have made that journey together they scarcely notice the dramatic changes. They see and remember those years, and those changes, through the prism of love.

Consider for a moment an extreme example, something as mind-altering as the reunion of eighty-one year old one time high-school sweethearts, after sixty years apart. Months of letters, emails, and phone calls have fanned old feelings into a new flame. They have moved beyond their adolescent “what-might-have-been” to focus now on “what-they-hope-can-be.” Without knowing what to expect they arrange to meet. About then the questions begin. What does she look like? Will he recognize her? What will she think when she sees the “him” he has become? 

At eighty-one, caught up in a new “geriatric adolescence,” you can tell their love and dreams are alive and well. The results may strike us as funny. That’s okay. Don’t be afraid to laugh. Our “hero” does a lot of that. Yet there is no denying the deep and powerful feelings behind his embarrassed chuckles. So take a few minutes to enjoy the following video. It’s a testament to love and hope at eighty-one, with a dose of teenage anxiety thrown in for good measure.

Finally, if there are folks with whom you’d like to share this October Years post and its special video, I hope you’ll  pass it on. It’s an easy thing to do. Just click on the “M” at the bottom of this page to email the post, with the video, to any addresses you choose.

To see 81 year-old love in action click here.

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