I had a boyfriend 14 years my senior. He died at 67, ten days after a stroke. I was 53. Before the attack, he was slowing down—but I was gearing up. He wanted to simplify his life, while mine was becoming more complicated every day. He was retired and I had just started my own business. He preferred to be in Florida full time and I didn’t intend to leave New York or my kids.
When he took sick, I would have dropped everything to help take care of him had he survived the stroke. I loved him. Sure, it wouldn’t have been my first choice to put everything on hold, but hey, that’s life.
A man I know in his sixties told me he was glad his wife was the same age because she could relate to him when he woke up with an ache here, a pain there. Great point, I thought. Big age gaps generally make less of a difference when both partners are younger, say 28 and 43, but they can become more troublesome at a certain stage.
Troublesome or not, loving each other is the most important issue. I have incredible admiration for one Fab Over Fifty woman who is helping to care for her older husband with a reservoir of grace, class, and good humor. She is grateful he is in her life, ill or not.
Ivana Trump is another story. When I saw her recently on The View, I almost felt sorry for her loveless life. Barbara Walters asked Ivana, “You like them younger, right?” And Ivana’s answer: “Yes, I like them younger. I have so much energy, they usually die within a month. So I’d much rather be a babysitter than a nursemaid.”
Funny how Ivana thinks only older men get sick. Even energetic 60-year-old women can get sick too. I wonder which of her young men would come running to her side.