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A perfect lesson in love and beauty the elderly can share


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Josephine McCaul - published on 03/18/24

After nearly 60 years of marriage, a sweet comment directed by my father to my mother provided a wonderful lesson in marriage to my son.

A few weeks ago I was on holiday visiting my elderly-ish parents. (They are in their late 70s and early 80s, but it feels strange to refer to them as elderly when they still behave like teenagers sometimes!)

Most of this time I spent accompanying them on their regular daily activities, and that often involved going to different supermarkets to find the perfect sausages for my dad, or bananas that hadn’t been damaged for my mum — I think after 9 children, they’ve waited most of their married life to be able to spend time treating each other with these finer details.

On one trip out I was sitting in the car with my father waiting for my mother to come out of the supermarket. She appeared with her bags full and a newspaper that my dad likes stuffed under her arm.

As she juggled with everything my dad looked at me and said: “Isn’t she the most beautiful woman in the world?” He then hopped out of the car to give her a hand.

To be looked at with loving eyes

As I looked at my mother I could only think how wonderful it is to still be so loved and admired by her husband of nearly 60 years. Although she complains about the extra wrinkles, her hair, and her extra pounds, all my father can see is the woman who is happy to go extra miles so she can find him his favorite sausages.

It’s the same woman who has given him his large family and devoted her life to him, as he has to her.

My son, who was in the car at the same time, looked over to me and said: “I’m sorry, Mummy, I love Mimi [my mother], but she’s way too wrinkly to be the most beautiful woman in the world.”

An important lesson

And that’s when I thought how wonderful it was for my father to have said what he’d said. For my young son to appreciate that beauty comes in so many forms, and an enduring love is no doubt the most beautiful in the world.

I’d therefore encourage any grandparent to share their admiration and love for their spouse with the younger generations in their family. Allow them to realize that one of the beauties of marriage is found in its longevity, and how if you work at it, the couple can truly reap what they have sown.

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