A true story about love, age and love beyond age.
Dear friends, though we’ve passed Valentine’s Day, I still want to share with you a sweet and heartwarming story. To a lot of you, this might sound like a fairly uncommon story, one of those narratives that seem too good to be true and tend to resemble a fairytale. This is the story of a man who is not young, nor is he rich or educated to degree level. He was born 74 years ago in a picturesque alley in Naples, Italy. He’s just an old man, getting by on a modest pension in a colourful but futureless country. This is the story of R. , a man who used to lead a life of utter mediocrity and had never known the meaning of true love until he met F.
The two lovers-to-be met on May 23, 1981 , after two failed marriages, a couple of children each and many tears of resentment towards their long gone love stories. They were on different tracks and belonged to completely different worlds. At the time, R. was living in Naples, in a beautiful panoramic flat, while F. was in Catania, Sicily, the largest and most gorgeous island in the Mediterranean Sea. Despite their age and their children being quite skeptical about their relationship, R. and F. started dating. Since then, it’s been nine years and more of commuting, long Skype chats (because even seniors know their stuff!) and watching tutorials about surviving long distance relationships. It’s also been nine years of sacrifices and passionate love. Until R. and F. decided to move in together. In 1990 R. packed all his stuff and moved with all his family to beautiful Sicily, ready to kick-start his brand new life with F. They got married in July of the same year. 24 years later, R. is still living his fairy tale and doesn’t hold any regrets. As time passes by, their love seems to grow stronger and stronger.
It was not always easy. R. and F. had to face a few difficult moments. Money, employment, children issues. Among other things, they had to deal with people’s opinions. Some people never shut up and having been raised in a small-minded environment wasn’t of any help. “Aren’t you too old for marriage?” “50 is the right age to have grandchildren” “Getting married again? Have more fun this time around”.
We all know about that. Some people are just too mentally lazy about judging others and are overly quick to form a snap opinion about them, based largely on what they see. Not only do we size people up too quickly, but we also fall back on stereotypes to help us do it. But then comes love, and with it, the need to always stay true to ourselves. R. and F. fell in love once and had no other desire but to fulfill their dream of love. It took them years before F. finally wore her white wedding dress at the age of almost 50. It took a lot of patience and perseverance before R. ‘children were grown-up enough to happily accept their father’s new life project in a new city, with a new partner. But they finally made their wedding dream come true. Because love knows no end, has no boundaries and not even the slight wrinkles on a beautifully made-up bride face could be an obstacle to a happy ending.
Dear friends, this is a story for anyone who believes in love. Sometimes it takes a real fairy tale to understand that fairy tales are not just for the young ones. And it takes a true love story to prove that youth and beauty might fade away but strong feelings hardly ever die.