Senior Love Stories: Dorothy Allen
In life, we don’t often get second chances. Love is fleeting, so they say, and often that feeling of being loved never completely returns. But sometimes, love comes around when you least expect it. Any moment can become a cherished memory that blooms into a miraculous relationship. The GrandPad team devotes itself to connecting seniors with loved ones and providing the necessary tools for seniors to keep every connection alive, because you never know which moments will be the ones you’ll treasure. In this installment of our Senior Love Stories, we’ll meet a couple that thought they’d never have a second chance – but love wasn’t through with them yet.
Dorothy Allen had recently lost her first husband when she first met her husband Larry. Nearly 37, Dorothy was building up walls to protect herself after caring for a man who was no longer there. Larry, a recent divorcee, was a newly single man emerging from a different hurt. As Dorothy now knows, Larry took care of his first wife as best as he could until her alcoholism ultimately caused the marriage to end. After Dorothy had been alone for some time, her brother-in-law suggested he introduce her to Larry, an acquaintance of his.
“I was scared. I didn’t want to meet him because I was still recovering from the loss of my first husband,” Dorothy recalls. “I was a wreck, and I didn’t want him to see that.” When they met for their arranged date of sorts, Dorothy remembers Larry’s humor and openness easing her into a conversation. They went out dancing and tried to dance, and with a smile Dorothy notes, “he was not a good dancer.” Larry mentioned that Dorothy’s uncle had told him Dorothy liked to go camping, and Dorothy quickly shot back, “I love to, but not with you.”
Dorothy confided that it was love at first sight – she could tell Larry was an honorable man, was incredibly kind, and generously caring. The pain from before, however, held them both back. But love finds a way – after two years of tentative dates that evolved into affectionate lives intertwining, they decided to tie the knot. As Dorothy fondly recalls, her time with Larry was “really a loving, passionate, and trusting relationship. I could trust him implicitly.” Even her memories of Larry just helping out around the house are dear to her heart.
Sadly, their relationship was too short. Larry passed away at a relatively young age. “It was unfortunate because we didn’t know what was wrong,” Dorothy admits. One morning she got out of bed, touched him, and could feel he was dying. A few months later he was diagnosed with cancer before passing away. Though Dorothy initially felt alone, she used her GrandPad to stay connected to the rest of the family and keep up with the travels of her grandchildren. She sees a part of Larry in all of them.
The trick, Dorothy knows, is not to dwell on the negative but to fondly recall all of the wonderful details of their beautiful relationship and to keep Larry’s spirit alive. She even remembers their occasional arguments with fondness. “He voted for Ronald Reagan and I found out a long time later. I told him I would never forgive him,” she recounts, laughing. “I take my politics very seriously. When we first started going together he told me he wasn’t registered to vote! I told him no way was I going to date someone who wasn’t registered,” she teased. Larry, naturally, registered to vote the next day.
Dorothy and Larry’s story reminds us all how precious love is, and why we should hold dear those we lost while always moving forward.