Sparks! with April Beyer

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My Piece for Maria Shriver: Keeping Love Alive

I was excited to be invited to write an article for Maria Shriver as part of her “Week of Love” Series. Here’s the result. Hope you enjoy it…

Just before I sat down to write this article something wonderful happened that changed my original idea. I received a call from a 92 year old widower asking for my help. I’ll call him Walter.

On the other end of the phone, I heard the firmly resonant voice of a well-known, educated man who has led a successful life, both professionally and personally. He described to me how deeply he had loved his wife of sixty-three years before losing her to cancer two years ago.

Walter is daunted by the thought of having to go back out into the world of dating, and I dare say he’s also feeling irritable about the prospect of it all. It’s a new dating world and he hadn’t planned on life without her. Their wedding day was in 1948. Surely 2013 seems scary and unfamiliar with our online dating sites, speed dating, text messages, and most people being simply too busy to sit through a dinner date, let alone on a park bench with an ice cream cone getting to know someone.

But here he is, even so, still trying, believing, hoping and willing.

Every day I hear from women and men of all ages wondering if they’ve run out of time, missed their prime dating window, or have exhausted all their options when it comes to finding the right person for them.

Often, they’ll give me a wish list of wants and demands as long as my arm.

Walter, at 92, has a short list: attractive, loving, emotionally intelligent, curious, and the ability to put in the work and consideration required for every great relationship.
My heart broke as I listened to Walter’s story of loss, but hearing him speak also gave a lift to my spirit and hope for love and marriage.

I can’t tell you that I felt sorry for him. His long and enduring marriage, the business he ran until he retired at 90, and his wonderful grown children are a testament to the hard work it takes to be successful at the things that count the most in this lifetime.

I took the opportunity to ask Walter how he created and sustained such an incredible and lasting marriage. …Read More

Be sure to follow the link to read the rest of the story. I had a great time writing it.

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