What if you met the love of your life, and found yourself still in love, and married, after 61 years? It isn't a fairy tale, it's my parents' marriage.
Once upon a time, circa 1950, my mother went to a party as the date of a friend. She really would have preferred to stay home; she was tired and wanted to wash her hair. But at that party, she met my father. This was a different time, men had come back from World War II and many women had married their high school and childhood sweethearts when they returned from war. My mother almost did that, but she knew something was wrong with that union, and had broken off the relationship a couple of years before meeting my father. But, I digress...
My parents describe the night they met as a magical evening of great chemistry and conversation. At the end of the evening, my father said, "I'd love to ask you out, but I hear you have a long waiting list for Saturday nights." My mother hesitated for about two seconds, and said, "I'm free Friday night." Rumor has it they had a great time that night, but my father had two wisdom teeth pulled that afternoon and developed lock jaw near the end of their date (just a small complication). It seems my mother didn't care. Six months later they were engaged, and my mother had moved to New York because my father was stationed out of New London, Connecticut - it was a great career move and they could smooch when he was on shore leave (ahem).
Not long after my mother moved to New York, my parents were married in a small ceremony at my maternal grandparent's house in Washington, DC. There's a little back story there, because of a blizzard, but the groom made it south despite the snow and I hear the rest of his three-day pass was well spent during their brief honeymoon
My parents, now octogenarians, have been through several health scares and their children have caused them some anxiety. But the greatest lesson they have taught me is this: you can find someone that rings your chimes and have that love last. Thanks, mom and dad.
And happy anniversary. Love you both.