When I had lunch with my friend, Mary, yesterday, she told me a lovely story that inspired this post.
In 1999, her in-laws were in their 80’s and her mother-in-law had recently had to move to a nursing home because her father-in-law couldn’t take care of her any more. A tough choice, but both of them understood it was necessary.
Before Millie’s moved to the nursing home, they had frequently talked about their hope that they would live to see the turn of the century. Now, the new year was almost here and their wish was coming true — they were going to be able to see that once-every-hundred-years event. But, they were living apart, so just how “joyful” could that celebration be?
But Phil had “a plan.” He left Millie, as usual, in the evening of New Year’s Eve and wished her a Happy New Year then. But, just before midnight he surprised her and came back! And he brought one of her favorite holiday treats, shrimp, along with a bottle of sparkling grape juice. She was so touched and delighted that he had made this plan so that they could welcome the New Year together.
They savored the shrimp and then at the stroke of midnight, they toasted the New Year and said a prayer of thanks that they were there together.
Perfect young love is hearts beating faster, long soul-searching looks and getting to know each other’s every like and dislike.
Perfect mature love is hearts that have known each other so long that they practically beat as one, looking at each other and still seeing the young version, and knowing the other’s wants and desires as well as your own.
A surprise visit. In a nursing home. At the stroke of midnight. A toast to a new century with the one you love. As perfect as love gets.