End of the line

On Life and Love after 50 eNewsletter – June 3, 2022

Today’s topics:

Reflections on Memorial Day

Does a potential mate’s marriage history matter?

It’s not the end of the line (if you haven’t found a mate yet)

On Memorial Day, like so many people, I did some reflecting about life. As a veteran, I certainly thought about the men and women of the armed services who paid the ultimate price. I reflected on the American Cemetery in Normandy France that Greta and I visited in 2016. It was a heart-wrenching experience to see the 9,387 gravesites of the Americans buried there. Most were casualties of the D-Day invasion, which took place only a few hundred yards from the cemetery, on June 6, 1944. Some perished in other parts of WWII.

Les, one of our Champs, was involved in D-Day.   

Only four of the 9,387 buried there are women. Greta and I searched the cemetery until we found at least one of the four women’s gravesites. We came upon the white cross of Elizabeth A. Richardson, Mishawaka, Indiana, who was a Red Cross Volunteer, age 27, who died in a plane crash on July 25, 1944. I took a photo of her gravestone.

And I also thought about the men and women serving now. This very morning, Greta’s grandson-in-law Carlos is retiring from the Marine Corps after 23 years. We will be at his retirement ceremony at Camp Pendleton. We’re grateful for his dedication.

Also on Memorial Day, I thought about the last two years where Covid-19 made life difficult for all of us. For senior singles, it made meeting a potential mate very difficult. For seniors in long-distance relationships, it meant not seeing a partner as often.

I spoke to my friend Mike S. on Memorial Day and he stated how the recent tragic shootings across our country had affected him and Joanie, his significant other. He stated, “I’m out of sorts; this is a strange day.” I felt the same way.

I thought about our Champs who are alone, some of them probably feeling a bit empty themselves. I thought about five friends–two who are new widows, two who are new widowers and a guy friend who recently said to me, “I lost the best woman I’ve ever known.”  I know how tough Memorial Day was for them.

And then I felt maybe I could give senior singles a little boost via this week’s eNewsletter.

Recently, some Champs have asked if a person’s dating and/or marriage history is important when seeking a mate. Here are my thoughts.

1 When you meet a potential mate, does their marriage/divorce history matter? What if they were married and divorced two or more times? Does that make them a risky choice?

My answer: no. When Greta and I had our first date 25 years ago, one thing we both fessed up to that we had in common was we each had been married and divorced three times. Both of us had been thinking, if I say that, will the other one get up and leave.

We didn’t bat an eye. Neither asked, “Why so many times?” We both understood what the other had been through. We both seemed like nice people. If anything, that common bond help bring us together. The result: a quarter-century of sharing life together. We finally got the senior relationship challenge right, even though we didn’t want or have the need to marry.

(2) How about dating a widowed person? Most widows and widowers have told me they prefer to date widowed people because widowed people understand each other. An important consideration is: have they given themselves time to grieve and heal?

Twelve years ago, I published an eBook titled, “Widower Dating. Gold Mine or Mine Field?” That book addresses many issues that can arise in dating a widowed person, especially dating a widower. It’s in eBook format only and is 33 pages. The eBook costs $2.99. To read a free preview, go to www.smashwords.com and then search on “Tom Blake. Widower Dating. Gold Mine or Mine Field.” While published 12 years ago, the information remains applicable today.

Both widows and widowers have told me the book has helpful advice for them, in addition to someone who is dating a widower.

I dated a widow before I met Greta. She kept calling me “Sam,” her deceased husband’s name. I felt she hadn’t healed properly, and the relationship fizzled out.

Is it okay to date widowed people? Of course. However, early on have the discussion with him or her to ensure the person has adequately healed. It would be terrible to fall in love with someone who decides down the road that he or she hasn’t healed enough and dumps you. Ouch!

(3) And is there risk in dating a person who has never married? Perhaps they are the wisest among all senior singles. No divorce scars. But you may wisely wonder, can he or she give and be a supportive and loving partner?

Of course, they can! They wouldn’t be making themselves available if they weren’t up to the task. The more important question might be can you be a supportive and loving partner to him or her.

There is no right or wrong answer to these three questions. It’s up to each person individually. It’s all in the attitude. It’s all how two people interact and care for each other. And don’t think, it’s the end of the line for you because you haven’t met that significant someone yet.

End Of The Line

Coincidentally, as I was working on this eNewsletter on Memorial Day, Greta clicked on YouTube TV and the song “End of the Line,” Volume 1 played, by The Traveling Wilbury’s, featuring George Harrison, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, and Jeff Lynne.” Incredible piece of music. Recorded in October 1988.

Orbison died on December 6, 1988, and when Volume 2 of “End of the Line” came out, the video featured a guitar sitting on an empty rocking chair, placed there to honor Orbison. Toward the end of the video, Orbison’s voice is dubbed in. Bob Dylan appeared on the Volume 2 video. I am ending today’s eNewsletter with a link to Volume 2 of “End Of The Line.” Look for the rocking chair, the subtle picture of Roy Orbison and the cameo appearance of Bob Dylan. And the messages in the song to seniors about living a full life. The video has had 99,000,000 views since being originally posted in 2016.

Author: tpblake

Tom Blake is a newspaper columnist in south Orange County, California. He has published four 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 TravelAfter55.com.

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