The Timelessness of Love
by Joseph Shore
When I was in my early twenties I was just getting started as an opera singer. While doing my master’s degree in Fine Arts I was helped by a kind, elderly lady. I was the paid soloist at her church where she was the organist. She was a widow in her mid-70’s I would guess. She kept her real age quite a secret. She had lost her husband years before and had never remarried. At that beginning stage I had a lot of auditions and competitions to do and there was a lot of expense involved with my doing them. She was kind enough to help me out in that regard. We developed quite a friendship. She accompanied me on the piano when I would do concerts in that area. But soon it became quite obvious to me that she held deeper feelings for me than I could reciprocate. She had illusions that I could take the place of her lost husband. Her feelings for me did not repulse me. I understood her needs.I just could not reciprocate. One day while I was at her home rehearsing an aria she took off her blouse and asked me what I thought? I tried not to react emotionally. I made some comment like, “I am sorry but I have to go now.” My career go started and I moved to New York. But I would return to the Midwest a few times for concerts and she would accompany me. I owed her a lot for her help in my early days. My point is this: If someone older than you says s/he loves you and you cannot reciprocate, don’t freak out or be repulsed. Just let it be. You may see later that person actually did care for you and gave you a lot, and sometimes these things work out so that a younger person actually DOES reciprocate and a happy marriage follows. If you DO react with repulsion instead of kindness then you are setting yourself up for a lesson in your life. Maybe not in this life, but surely in the next one, you’ll find yourself as an older woman, unmarried, who falls in love with a younger man who then is absolutely repulsed! Then you will know what it feels like.