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For Valentine’s Day, the Perfect Gift: Hope and Inspiration

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It was a Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia, December 2006:  I was 62 years old and I’d just logged onto JDate.

Ten years before—with three failed marriages behind me—I’d put work at the center of my life. A new career as an editor kept me busy.  I wasn’t especially looking to add romance to my life. But two weeks before, a friend had insisted I join JDate. Now, with the day’s errands behind me, I logged on.

Soon, a message: ‘Would you like to IM?’ The man had an adventurous glint in his kind eyes. ‘Yes,’ I said.

That ‘Yes’ marked the beginning of a relationship with 61-year-old man, Warren, from Denver.  It also planted a seed (although I didn’t know it at the time) for realizing a dream.

I’d always wanted to write a book. The year before I met Warren, I’d had a wonderful idea: a photo essay book about couples who found love late in life. The idea floated to the back of my mind…then came alive, as Warren and I grew close. Two people in our 60s, we felt lighter than air and younger than springtime, because we each finally found someone who understood our true self.

I had been through rocky times. Warren had passed through a dark period. We had both gained some wisdom.  Love was especially delicious, we both agreed, when flavored with self-awareness and gratitude.  

Two years later, we married. For the first time, I had a husband who supported the artist within me. When I told Warren the idea—writing a book about couples who found love late in life—he expressed only encouragement. ‘Go for it,’ he said.

Together, we traveled the country. Together, we sat in kitchens and living rooms interviewing strangers who soon became our friends. Our relationship was enhanced by listening together to these funny, fascinating and profoundly moving life and love stories.

We learned how surviving a long, loveless marriage made a person open for great sex with an affectionate partner…at 58. We learned how long a man will wait for the girl of his dreams—would you believe 55 years? You’ll have to, because it’s true—as are all the stories in Autumn Romance.

Life is more delightful than fiction!  I could not have envisioned, on that Sunday afternoon when I logged onto JDate, that two dreams would shortly come true: 1) I would find my soul mate at 62; and 2) I would publish a book, at 65.

What I learned while writing the book is that love is the most powerful thing of all. So this book is my Valentine’s present to the world, giving inspiration and hope to anyone who wants more love in their life, at any age.

Autumn Romance: Stories and Portraits of Love after 50. You can buy a copy at www.autumnlove.org. And you can email me, Carol Denker, caroldenker@comcast.net, anytime at all. 

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One Comment »

  • Rsoe says:

    It’s difficult to keep my hopes up, reading the profiles and trying to find a date, so this story is very inspiring! Thank you!!!

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