The relationship started innocently enough—like many, it grew from a platonic, working relationship. He was a well-respected, prominent business man with a seemingly perfect life, a wife, children who had grown up to be successful adults, and a religious upbringing. I was a 30-year-old college graduate, up-and-coming executive, and a single, working mother with an adorable toddler son, and a not-so-adorable, slowly dying, five-year relationship with my son’s biological father.
On the first clear day of spring, he asked if I’d like to go get a breath of fresh air. We met in a park on the shore of Lake Michigan, and it was there, sitting on a bench together, that I learned his age. He was, as my father would say, “double-nickels.” This 55-year-old man, handsome, well-dressed, with just a sprinkle of gray near his temples, and the calmest, clearest blue eyes, was the most enticing man I’d ever laid eyes (or soon hands) upon in my life! For years, I invested my efforts trying to nurture a relationship with a man my age, giving him 100%; and in return, I received lies, mental abuse, and rough, emotionless sex, and my son received emotional neglect. And yet there, in the matter of a few minutes on a park bench and over the course of just a few short months, “Double-Nickels” showed me the most unimaginable care and kindness through his touch and his soft-spoken nature, his intellect and his genuine interest in what I had to say.
Today, more than 10 years later, after facing our share of obstacles, we are happily married and socially accepted by our family, and our local and business communities. His adult children are cordial; my family (most especially my father) loves my husband and, best of all, he was able to legally adopt my son—our son, who is now a teenager! Love doesn’t pick an age; it picks a person.