Valentine’s day, sad for some seniors

Valentine’s Photo over Dana Point – Feb 5, 2022, by Tom Blake
On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletterFebruary 12, 2022

2022 eNewsletter #6

by Tom Blakeauthor and columnist

Part I- Responses to last week’s Super Bowl II eNewsletter

I was floored by the number of responses to last week’s eNewsletter. So many great ones. Several Champs shared similar memory stories, including Rick O., who attended Super Bowl I, which happened to be in Los Angeles.

Two Champs encouraged me to check the collector’s item value of the ticket stub from Super Bowl II. I did. Ebay showed the same game ticket selling for between $1,000 to $2,700. I’ll see about that.

Another Champ, Joel, found an update on stewardess queen Patty Poulsen. Sadly, Patty passed away three years ago at age 75. She would have been 78 if she were attending this year’s game.

There was no word on Jill Spavin, the other world stewardess queen (that’s what they were called back then, now it’s flight attendant).And because today we’re mixing the Super Bowl topic with the Valentine’s Day topic, I wanted to mention a Facebook posting that landed in my inbox. It read:

“A good buddy of mine has 2 Super Bowl tix, 40-yard-line box seats. He paid $8,500 each but he didn’t realize when he bought them that the game was going to be on the same day as his wedding. He didn’t think he’d land the tickets, but his order went through!“He’s looking for someone to take his place. If you’re interested, it’s at Calvary Church in San Clemente at 3 p.m. The bride’s name is Nicole. She’s 5’4”, about 115 lbs., and a good cook too. She’ll be in the white dress and holding a bouquet of flowers.”  

PART 2: VALENTINES 2022 Valentine’s Day, sad for some seniors

The photo above of the heart in the sky was taken last Saturday on the patio of our Dana Point, Calif. home. Greta (my sig. other) and I were sitting outside with her grandson, Andre, his wife Lindsay, and Greta’s most recent great-grandchild (#4), Isabella. We all agreed, it was a Valentine’s greeting sent to us by a friendly sky-writing pilot. I grabbed my phone to snap the photo.

Champs sometimes ask, “What do you get Greta for Valentine’s Day?” I reply, “Nothing.” Sounds cold–and unromantic–doesn’t it? But here’s the deal. Greta and I met in 1998 and have been together ever since. Meeting her is the best thing that ever happened to me. We’ve had a quarter-century of incredible experiences together.

Kris Kristofferson wrote a song that describes how I feel about having Greta in my life. Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again)  (the link to this song is listed at the end of today’s article).

I mean, the trips we’ve had together: Spain, Italy, France, Ireland, Denmark, Estonia, Greenland, Canada, England, all of South America, Russia, Japan, China, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Monte Carlo, the xxx Islands, Greece, Turkey, India, Nepal, Casa Blanca, Germany, Austria, Hawaii, Alaska, and several in the contiguous USA as well.

What have we missed? The south of Africa and Antarctica. That’s about it.

For us, every day has been Valentine’s Day. So, we don’t make a big deal about February 14.

I don’t write glowing love stories about Valentine’s Day. Never have. The reason: in the 50-to-90 age range, there are many singles who have lost or don’t have a significant other and for them, Valentine’s Day can be a bit of a downer.

I don’t write about a dozen red roses here, a box of chocolates there, a romantic dinner in some five-star restaurant, or cuddling in front of a fireplace. How would stories like those make our lonely Champs feel? Empty. I don’t want to add to those feelings.

For many singles without a partner, Valentine’s Day can’t end soon enough.
I’m particularly sad today for many of our Champs. Geody’s husband Richard passed a few months ago. He was an incredible man–loved, admired, and respected in Dana Point—and she’s a rock. Strong as she can be. A hell of a trooper. She’s got wonderful children and grandchildren. You can’t find a finer person in the world than Geody. Great attitude.

For Champ Donna, a special education teacher, her mate Bob, who helped me when I was a columnist for the Orange County Register 20 years ago, passed late last year. She’s trying to heal and feel better. She’s an incredible woman as well. Greta was a Special Education teacher for 32 years. That profession requires a strong, caring, loving, and giving person, which Donna is. Valentine’s Day will be subdued this year for her.

Our neighbor, Mike, who lives a couple of blocks away in our community, entered my life in the 1990s. He and his wife Jane opened a UPS shipping business two blocks away from my deli. They were wonderful deli customers and salt-of-the-earth citizens as well.

Unbeknownst to Greta and me, Jane passed in September. One night after I had held a book signing, Greta and I were driving home. We saw Mike walking his Labrador Retriever. We stopped, and yelled, “How are you doing?”He was subdued and said, “Did you know that Jane passed away two weeks ago?” 

Greta and I were stopped in our shoes. We didn’t know. He had tried to send me an email to notify me, but it had the wrong letters in the address, so I didn’t receive it.

Mike said, “Jane was my everything.” Greta and I were devasted by the news. We admired and loved her. She was a delightful person. Mike’s pain was evident. Valentine’s in 2022 will be hard for him.

We have a Champ named Terry. He’s normally funny. Not so this Valentine’s Day. His wife seems to be withdrawing. I feel bad for him.

And then there’s Jo, Greta’s daughter Tina’s mother-in-law. Jo’s a widow of fewer than two years—one of the kindest women I’ve ever met. Although she was still dealing with her loss last year when my brother passed away, she mailed me a hand-written condolence letter. It really moved me. Jo reminds me of my Mom.

Bruce, a high school classmate, and lifelong friend has been a widower for several years. He has chosen to remain single and focus on his grandchildren. This year the Super Bowl will have more meaning to him than the day after (Valentine’s). He’s lived in Cincinnati for years. The Bengals are in the big game.

Champs Sid and Les are having serious health issues that will make Valentine’s Day a bummer. These situations are a few reasons why I don’t write about how special Valentine’s Day is. However, to ensure you don’t think I’m a complete Valentine’s scrooge, here are two photos of a home in Dana Point that warms the hearts of Dana Point residents.

The owner loves Valentine’s Day, and it certainly shows.

Perhaps we should create a day–for the day after Valentine’s Day–and call it “Hope Day.” That would bring happiness to all of us. I love you Champs, more than you know. Link to Kris Kristofferson’s song, “Loving Her Was Easier”
blue lantern valentine house
Dana Point California home
valentines blue lantern
The same Dana Point California home

Author: Tom Blake

Tom Blake is a newspaper columnist in south Orange County, California. He has published five books. His primary topic is finding love after 50 and beyond, sometimes far beyond, for people 80 and older as well. He also blogs about travel at

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