20 Things I’ve Learned as a Remarried Senior

By Joe McKeever, CrossWalk.com – My wife and I are still learning about marriage.

Bertha and I were both 76 years old when we married. I’m five months older than she.

But don’t take that the wrong way. In no way are we old. We are not infirmed, crippled (thank the Lord!), or elderly.

We both still work. She teaches English for a local community college and teaches online for a Christian university in Indiana.

I’m retired, but always on the go to preach and sketch people for events. I write (blogs, books, articles for various publications) and watch a lot of sports on television (and she’s all right with that!).

We are loving our lives.

Bertha and I were each married 52 years, she to Pastor Gary Fagan, and I to Margaret Ann Henderson.

God took Gary to Heaven in May of 2014 and Margaret eight months later. Bertha and I met in February of 2016, and were married a year later.

When Margaret and I married, she was just short of 20 and I was 22. We were both children with hardly a clue what we were doing.

An accounting of the mistakes we made would fill an encyclopedia. I’ve not asked Bertha about her and Gary who married about the same time. But I’m confident she’s a different person now from the 22-year-old who stood beside Gary and took the vows.

Who wouldn’t be different? We live and learn. Marriage Can Make You Crazy, But It Deters Dementia

So, this marriage will be vastly different from the first, in every way you can imagine.

We’ve talked this out again and again. It’s always an open subject since we are constantly wanting to make this marriage everything it can and should be. Here are some areas we’ve agreed on… at least as of today (smiling).

1. We will never compare spouses.

We’re 20 months into marriage and are holding to this. We honor Gary and Margaret.

2. But we will feel free to remember and share stories.

It helps that I went to seminary with Gary and knew him for a half-century, although neither of us knew the other’s family. I liked him. I have nothing but respect for this good brother and the wonderful way he served the Lord all his adult life, starting with his conversion as a 15-year-old in Youth For Christ.

I’ve promised Bertha’s children Lari and Jeff that I will never dishonor the memory of their father. Bertha feels the same way toward Margaret. (Margaret would love her, although she might just be suspicious at first. “Can anyone be that sweet and kind?” Yep. She is.)

3. It’s perfectly fine to repeat some of the stories you have already told.

Hey, we’re seniors. Repeating is what we do best!

4. Give me a few minutes to get ready to meet the day.

The real “you” (or “me”), we have agreed, is not the one staring at you in the mirror when you walk into the bathroom to begin the day, or the one just waking up in the bed. The real you is when you are showered and dressed and made up and ready to greet the world. Secrets of Seniors Who Look, Feel, Act 30 Years Younger

5. Be prepared for slip-ups.

We will slip and call the other Gary or Margaret once in a while. Everyone does this, we’re told.

And when we get something wrong or transgress in some way, we tell the other and apologize. Although invariably, the other laughs it off. It would appear we are two stable, well-adjusted adults. And how wonderful is that! Read more. 

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