Thursday, February 18, 2016
Bob and Doris in front of their much loved libary.
Luther Village residents Doris and Bob love the story of how they met and fell in love.
Both in their 80s, these two active and outgoing residents were married on December 27, 2014, in the presence of family and friends (some of whom Skyped in live from Durham, England) in the Luther Village Chapel.
“I’d spent several New Year’s Eves alone since my late husband passed away,” shares Doris, “And I decided I wasn’t going to spend another one that way! I called up some of my girlfriends in the Village and we formed a party of four men and four women to go to Martin’s [Luther Village’s onsite restaurant] – one of the men was Bob. The eight of us had such a great time we decided to meet monthly for dinner, games and conversation. The next August, the group of us went to my cottage together and that’s when I got to know Bob better.” They discovered a mutual passion for history – Doris is a prolific writer of Loyalist history and genealogical research, and Bob has passionate interest in European and British history. Both also enjoy learning about each other’s areas of interest. In fact, when Doris met Bob, she was reading a book about Ghengis Khan, a historical figure Bob has done extensive reading on. “What are the odds of that?” laughs Doris, “To find a woman who reads about Ghengis Khan?”
“After the cottage weekend,” continues Doris, “ I needed a date for a friend’s wedding , and he agreed to go with me. Once I saw that he was a great dancer, then I knew!” When I asked Bob when he knew Doris was the one for him, he simply says, “When I told her!” and smiles.
They decided to get married, because, as Bob says, “We wanted to enjoy the rest of our lives together and this is the right way to do it, for us.” “Everyone approved our decision, family and friends – they all clapped their hands when we shared the news!” adds Doris, “We travelled to England to meet Bob’s family, and Arizona and Bracebridge to meet mine, and everybody liked each other.” Doris’s son-in-law was the officiant at their wedding, which took place during the Christmas season so family from all over could attend, and her four grandsons walked her down the aisle, while her granddaughters escorted her and Bob out after. “We had a ball!” says Bob.
Married life is treating them well. They say it’s getting better every day – and that it was great to start with! “We had lots of practice!” they said. Both had been in long marriages previously, to spouses they cared for through terminal illnesses. Re-marriage in their golden years has been lots of fun so far. “Without kids, mortgages, responsibilities like cutting the grass – it’s easier somehow,” says Doris. One piece of advice they do have: “When you are planning to get married as an older adult, make sure to seek good legal advice! We did this, and all older adults considering marriage should,” says Doris. Older adults are more likely to have many assets that need to be organized and protected.
To wrap up the interview, I asked both Bob and Doris to tell me something they really liked about the other. Bob said, “Doris is generous with herself,” to which Doris gave a big smile, and responded, “At this age, you go that way or the opposite – you become narrow and selfish, or you become outgoing and generous. I had lots of friends who supported me through the challenging years of care-giving.” Doris’ favourite thing about Bob? “He’s a great cook, and he makes me a cup of tea every day at 3:00 pm … and he makes a great gin and tonic!” says Doris.
Our society is becoming healthier, more active and living longer. Stereotypes about aging are breaking down. More and more older adults are exploring the world of dating, romance and re-marriage. Bob and Doris are a wonderful example of two people who know who they are, what they want, and how to care for others. By going out into the world, meeting people, getting active and sharing their personalities and talents with others, both have found happiness with a partner who fits their lifestyle and interests. Great advice for those seeking love at any age!
By Charlotte Clarke, Marketing Coordinator at Luther Village on the Park