So to bring you up to date, the widower George age 57, had proposed to the widow, Rose age 56 in a very romantic setting under the Eiffel Tower at midnight of the millennium 2000. You would think that a couple who had both been married prior and were seniors would have a small civil ceremony to seal their deal. Wrong!
Rose and George planned a formal church wedding with her wearing white, several bridesmaids, George’s brother as the best man and a film crew to document the entire event. The wedding was lovely and I was an honored guest.
You know that most films end here at happily ever after. Reality demonstrates that the wedding is just the beginning and the purpose of relationship is to heal old wounds. Let me tell you a little more about the Rose and George story.
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After the wedding they decided to live in his house and rent hers. He and his wife had purchased a little house near one of the Southern California beaches, 30 years prior. The home was small, unobtrusive on a huge lot overlooking the Pacific and best of all it had no mortgage. George’s wife had been an invalid for many years and being a study of finance she had invested their money in the stock market and built a little nest egg for their retirement. When she became ill and died. George who was an engineer simply maintained the assets and kept working.
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Rose and George were both still working. They were happy newlyweds for about 6 months when their first challenge arose. Rose was diagnosed with breast cancer. They found a lump on a routine mammogram and they both lived in terror for the next year. After the surgery and radiation, they began to relax because it appeared that they had caught the cancer early and her prognosis was positive. Rose began to take the preventive hormone therapy that is recommended for 5 years.
Things calmed down for them for a little while until the next critical incident. George’s aerospace engineering corporation decided to downsize and of course, George was one of the forced retirement casualties. On the surface it didn’t seem to be such a crisis because he was a 30 year employee and had an adequate retirement plan. However, for a man of his generation, this was a severe blow to his self-esteem. Here he was at what he considered to be the prime of his career and he was rendered over the hill, useless to his industry. Another engineering job was out of the question at his age with the current economic conditions. George became quite depressed. What was he going to do? Rose was still working and he was in forced retirement. He acquired a realtor license and started in the real estate market. In the mid 2000’s , the bubble had burst and real estate was stagnant. He was seriously depressed and Rose was concerned.