We asked Undercurrent readers for love stories to help us celebrate Valentine's day. Now we're sharing with you a couple of special decades-long love stories.
Marilyn and Jerry Kaehne
The speech below was presented at a dinner with friends to mark our 50th wedding anniversary. Marilyn had undergone brain surgery two weeks before but was happy and radiant. She succumbed to her cancer in November 2017.
“During our lives most of us are faced with a few monumentally important decisions for which neither our education nor our experience have prepared us.
Usually the first big decision is selecting a career – which path will we pursue throughout our lives in the interest of being productive in society and of providing an income on which to grow and prosper?
Financially, our largest decision has often been to purchase a home which commonly means borrowing about 10 years of gross income and paying it back over 25 years or so.
Spiritually, we are guided by the established beliefs of our family and peers into religions which sometimes raise more questions than they provide answers. Nevertheless, even though spiritual belief selection is a process rather than a single event, it is a key component of our existence.
However, the biggest decision by far we ever have to make is to choose a life partner. In our day, this was often at an age when we had no training or experience and really no idea what we were getting into. For youth, lust often clouds the assumption of love and for more mature adult philosophers there is the meeting of minds between self and partner (as well as lust). Therefore, I suggest that partner selection is an extremely precarious process.
I am very fortunate, not only to have chosen wisely and been chosen in return, but to have found a person with whom I am extremely grateful to have shared the past 55 years, 50 of which have been with a permit. Marilyn has been my lover, my beacon, my metronome, my confidant and my partner all these years but most importantly of all, she is my best friend. This is an appropriate time to reconfirm my love and friendship for her and my wish to share many more happy years together.
Thank you, dear friends, for sharing this milestone with us and a special thanks to Tara and Mark for being here.”
Bill and Loredana Brind
I was 17 and studying English in London.
Bill was an “old man” of 23 and worked at the BBC. He invited me to see the studios and in the cafeteria Eartha Kitt herself, in multicoloured scarves, came to our table and pulled him up to dance under everyone’s amused stares. He was 6’2”, blond, gorgeous and not a gifted dancer.
We decided early on that we would some day be married. My parents heard and promptly called me back home to Italy, six weeks after our first meeting.
He came over, met everyone and left me in tears at the train station, saying he had to go to Canada to become a film-maker.
And he did. When he came back 18 months later, he found work as an assistant film editor for the BBC. We married, had two children, lived in England, Montreal, Beirut, Vienna, and now Bowen.
He produced lots of films, won the Genie, was nominated for an Oscar and wrote two books. I painted, wrote, gardened and cooked.
Several decades later we’re still dancing together.