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Older Woman, Younger Man
by Kay Kopit

 

He has never missed a special occasion and has often surprised me with jewelry when he returns from a business trip.

One evening in the spring we were waiting to board a dinner train in Mendocino. A drunken man approached us and said, “How come you two are dressed up? Are you getting married?” Bryan looked at me and said, “Yes, we are aren’t we?”

That was his proposal. It was decided we would plan a wedding for later that year. 

But, first I needed to meet Bryan’s mother.  Just the thought of it terrified me!  Bryan and his mother, Sharon, have a truly special bond. 

He insisted he would not tell anyone about our engagement until she and I met.  We drove to southern California where Sharon was visiting her sister, Bryan’s aunt. I felt sick the entire trip.

I knew in advance he was going to take his mother shopping the next morning alone to break the news to her. I couldn’t sleep at all that night.

What felt so “right” to Bryan and me was unusual, especially in the eyes of a parent. When they returned from their excursion Sharon looked like she had just come from a funeral. 

Fortunately, for me, Aunt Toby accepted the situation and eased the tension by giving me a white angel ornament.  His mother is a wonderful woman.  In spite of her disappointment, she welcomed me into their family. Over the years our relationship has evolved into a unique friendship, a cross between a peer and a sister. 

December 7, 1986, dressed in an ivory colored Victorian gown, I was driven to our wedding in a horse drawn carriage. I remember the sensation well.

As I heard the clip-pity clop of the hoofs hitting the pavement I felt it was the happiest day of my life.

The ride was several miles long and I enjoyed cars honking loudly at every turn. When we arrived at the elegant Alamo Square Inn Bryan was waiting to escort me inside to the nuptials. It was a good thing he took my hand, for as I exited the carriage, my knees collapsed from shaking so hard. 

The day was spectacular marking a lifetime of love. Both Bryan and I had always wanted kids. By the time we met my biological clock had run out.

He told me he would rather marry a woman he loved deeply than to wait for someone to bear his children. For several years we were content to be a unit of two.

After my dear Aunt Letha died in 1992 I longed for a child. I knew we would be good parents. Bryan agreed to adoption. It was an arduous experience requiring patience and resilience.

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