06 Feb Keeping Our Dreams Alive
is author of the best-selling book, “Hot Chocolate for Seniors”(winner of national & international awards); winner of Gold Halo Award from the So. California Motion Picture Council for Outstanding Literary Achievement; winner of First Place Excellence in Journalism Award (SPJ –Southern CA); Town & Gown “Phenomenal Woman” Award; former television host & KSPA radio host of “Senior Living at its Best with Jan Fowler”; speaker, contributing author for “Savvy Women Revving Up for Success”; founder of Starburst Inspirations, Inc. 501(c) (3) nonprofit which supports Redlands Drug Court. www.janfowler.com. Jan welcomes feedback and comments about her columns and invites you to leave her a message on her website.
“Keeping Our Dreams Alive”
By Jan Fowler
Each month, I receive stories from men and women of all ages who have recently discovered love and romance. It thrills me when I read, “Dear Jan, I have fallen in love again!”
When I ask how they met, I often learn that they took one small step in the right direction—anything from signing up on “Plenty of Fish” to attending a senior dance, joining a one-day bus excursion, enrolling in a class, or volunteering their time at a charity fund-raiser.
One thing’s for sure. If we’ve been blessed to live till now, then our ability to dream dreams for our life is far from over.
So if finding love in later life happens to be among your personal desires, please read the following true-life story from my book, Hot Chocolate for Senior Romance ~ How Sweet It Is! for inspiration. And Happy Valentine’s Day to all!
“Todd and Trish in Act II”
Lake Arrowhead, California
Several years ago, I decided to move from my native southern California to Florida in order to see if I could write full time. I am a playwright and romance author, and had just come out of a relationship which had failed. One year before my move across country, Todd–a Southern California resident—had become a widower. And although it wasn’t sudden because his wife had suffered a prolonged illness, still, the loss was painful for him.
About six months after landing in Florida, I joined an online dating site. One day I received an e-mail from a man saying, “I thought I’d just skip the whole ‘wink’ thing since we seem to be on the same page. I see you’re pretty much living your dream. The writing and theatre thing really intrigues me.” This man, named Todd, mentioned that he lived in Lake Arrowhead, California, less than fifteen miles away from the area that I had just moved from!
Todd went on to explain that he was a widower, talked about his wife, then mentioned that her name was April. At this point, a bell went off in my mind! I realized that I had been friends with Todd’s late wife twenty-five years earlier when we had both lived in the Los Angeles area. In fact, April and I had worked in the same daycare center and had raised our children together!
I wrote back to Todd and told him about the uncanny coincidence of having been friends with his late wife. In this conversation, we began to realize that we had much much more in common.
In my reply to him, I also asked, “What is the musical theatre project which you’re working on? It’s awesome that you’ve revived it. If you need to bounce anything off someone, I am available. Artists help other artists.”
Over the next several months Todd and I e-mailed or phoned each other several times per day. I helped him with the musical which he was writing and he helped me with my next romance novel. We continued to date other people and told each other stories of how our dates had gone. We also shared our dreams and helped each other through a couple of difficult times, becoming close long-distance friends.
During one of my e-mails, I asked Todd how he liked his morning coffee. His reply was, “Is our communication moving toward a dating kind of thing?” I think we were both excited to find someone with such similar activities and interests that we forgot that our original contact had come from a dating website. After that, our conversations were laced with a little more flirting and finding out more about each other’s daily habits!
Finally during one telephone call, Todd informed me that he was flying out to Florida to meet me and asked if I would pick him up at the airport. I readily agreed! So, at 10:30 p.m. on a Wednesday in October, I picked him up at the Tampa airport. As he set his bag on the back seat I happened to glance back to watch him, at which point he looked up at me and exclaimed, “God, you’re gorgeous!”
The rest, as they say, is history…our loving living history! I have since returned to California, our musical is nearly complete (we will be holding its first workshop soon), and we are very happily married. And to think that all the while, Todd and I had only lived fifteen miles away from each other.
Act II of our lives is filled with beauty, joy, love, and promise, and we feel it is worthy of a standing ovation!