LOVE AFTER 50: Reader Frances Ferrill tells of love lost and found

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Back in February, Lifestyles After 50 ran several uplifting stories of love found later in life. In addition to serving as proof that romance does indeed come when you least expect it, the article asked readers to share their stories of “Love After 50.”

Five months later, the heartwarming tales are still pouring in, like the following recollection from Frances Ferrill – a story of love lost and then, surprisingly, found.

Here’s her inspiring story:

These days, I introduce George as my boyfriend of 60 years ago and my husband of 18 months.

Our dates began in the 1930s, when we took walks, helped my brother deliver the evening newspaper, competed in tennis matches and together we attended church. George told me then that he planned to marry me – and 60 years later, he did.

When we were dating my mother didn’t really like him – he was older, and she saw him kiss me goodnight on the front steps. It wouldn’t take long before she was hollering for me to come inside; after all, it was after 10 p.m.

As fate would have it, George and I lost touch with one another when he moved from our hometown; and not long after, I found myself married to a man named Bob Webb. We moved to Florida soon after, all the while George lived his whole life in the same town, save his time in the military. He was married to his wife Marie for 54 years – the same number of years I was married to Bob.

We saw each other only one time in those 60 years. We’d both come to a reunion in our hometown, and actually, when he first drove up, my sister asked me if I recognized him as he approached – and I said no. She had to enlighten me that it was my old boyfriend, “Frosty Ferrill,” and we shook hands and talked for just a few minutes.

After Bob died, I spent two years as a widow and was doing fine and vowed to never marry again. One day, George traveled to our hometown to visit a friend and during their conversation, he casually asked about me. When he was told I was a widow, he immediately wanted to know how to get in touch with me. One of my sisters who still lived in our town gave him my number, and when he called, I heard this man’s voice say, “You may not recognize my voice, but we used to play tennis together and we dated until I moved away and had no transportation to get back to see you.” When he mentioned the town where he had moved to, I knew immediately who he was.

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We started phoning back and forth and when I returned to Illinois we started dating. He took me out to dinner and caught up on 60 years of living. We married in Bryson City, NC in a simple church ceremony.

At times he calls me Marie and I call him Bob, but after 54 years with a mate, we just laugh about it and we both understand.

So what’s senior love and marriage all about? Well we remind each other to take our pills, we help each other with clean-up and meals, we spend evenings sitting on the couch together and watch TV – and sometimes we sit for hours without saying a word. All the while, we know we are there for each other. We know we’ll never celebrate a silver anniversay, let alone a golden one, but we know that God had a plan that reunited us for our last years together. So instead of counting the years, we count the months, and to me, that’s what senior love and marriage is all about.

God Bless, Fran

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