When Emily W. Upham was a 20-year-old professional piano student, she fell in love with a man (she refers to him as S) who was almost 60. Their love affair burned strong for almost four decades.
Often separated by distance and circumstances, the friends and lovers wrote passionate letters to each other, some of which Emily includes in her new book “In the Fullness of Time,” a moving and intimate collection of essay on Life After 50 by 32 FOF women. (Atria Paperback, Edited by Emily W. Upham and Linda Gravenson, 2010.)
Reflecting on her relatiomsahip in S. in her essay “After All.” Emily wrote: “Several years ago, when S. was 93 years old and I was 55, I was gripped by terror at the prospect of living in a world without him. I feared that I would become untethered, unmoored, and that I would drift away, a faint, disembodied being. I imagined myself hovering eerily upside down, neutered and barely visible.
”Now S. is gone. I remember walking gingerly into a field the day he died and, as my foot touched the ground, thinking I am taking a step in this grass, and for the first time in my life I am taking a step when you are not on this planet with me. To my surprise I did not turn upside down. My feel moved. The grass remained green.”
“Some months later, I talk, work, love. But I am askew and dislocated, as if tectonic plates beneath my ground have heaaved and shuddered. Yet there is a gratitude, an astonishment stirring for all that he gave me.”
Author Erica Jong writes about the death of her father, journalist Vivian Gornick writes about the lose of beauty and author Carolyn See on the lose of a beloved home, her second husband and her eyesight.