Never marry the one you can live with, marry the one you cannot live without.
Are we ever too old to fall madly and completely in love? Dr. Joan Chadbourne’s story proves that we are never too old for love. Sneaky little Cupid shot her and her future husband Chad through the heart in a coffee shop. I guess Cupid likes coffee, also. Joan was 72, and Chad was 69 years young. Thank goodness love is not only blind; it cannot count.
However, age cannot save us from ourselves. Only wisdom and deep soul searching can throw us a life-preserver in the turbulent waters called relationships. Sometimes the most significant deterrent we must face is one that is the most impossible to avoid-ourselves. Joan’s story is about how she got out of her own way to embrace love in the twilight years of her life.
I read Joan’s fantastic love story in the book Chaos to Clarity: Sacred Stories of Transformational Change and immediately invited her to be a guest on my Video Podcast The Kat Kanavos Show.
The lesson I took away from her uplifting story was how Joan learned how important it is to not self-sabotage when it comes to positive change in her life. Change at any age can be frightening. However, as we become older and set in our ways, an excuse not to embrace change can become a phobia. Joan changed her emotional chaos into loving clarity and transformed her life.
Transformational change makes room for love in our hearts.
When years of life and experience have made us self-sufficient and independent, we must make room for love because we have learned to ignore or plug all the holes with “emotional stuff,” including excuses.
Joan’s love story begins with, “We had met through an online dating service and were texting to each other like teenagers the night before our first meeting scheduled at a coffee shop. I didn’t sleep a wink after our chatting because it felt like someone or something was rocking me in the bed. The next day when I walked into the coffee shop and saw Chad, I started to hyperventilate. It was so loud the people drinking coffee turned in their seats to see what was wrong with me. I was embarrassed. That had NEVER happened to me before. Then when he hugged me hello, I tried to talk but nothing came out of my mouth. Unbeknownst to me, Chad had survived cancer but had lost his ability to speak or eat, so he typed in his synthesizer, ‘Don’t worry. I’ll carry the conversation.’ I laughed and told him that I had not slept at all after our texting session and why.
‘That was because I imagined holding and rocking you in my arms.’
I knew then that we had been communicating telepathically.”
What was to be a short meet-and-greet turned into a five-hour-long date.
Joan and Chad made plans to see each other again, but soon Joan’s doubt and self-sabotage reared its ugly head and almost destroyed their budding love.
“After I got home and had time to think, I began to talk myself out of the relationship. I was independent, had always been independent, and didn’t want to share my life with anyone for the first time at my age. I didn’t need it. Even in my first marriage, we had lived in separate parts of the house. We even had our own kitchens. Why would I want to share a life now? Was Chad crazy? Was I crazy?” Joan exclaimed. “I sat down and wrote Chad a five-page letter listing all the reasons why I didn’t think our relationship would work, beginning with the fact that we lived 600 miles apart. Chad wrote back and said he saw no reason for us to meet again.”
Joan had initiated the break, yet she lamented over Chad’s response.
“I prayed and prayed for guidance. Then I got out of my own way and embraced the changes necessary to open my heart to Chad’s love. One of the first things I did was realize my reluctance to love him was not about Chad. It was about me!”
During the interview, Joan details some of the steps she took to overcome self-sabotage so she could move forward and embrace Chad’s love.
If you would like to know more about this beautiful love story you can read Share a Life? Are You Crazy! In Part 1of the book Chaos to Clarity: Sacred Stories of Transformational Change available on Amazon (the link is below in the resource section of the article) and CLICK the interview link below to watch Joan Chadbourne talk about sharing her life with Chad in the twilight years of their lives, and how love never dies.
Dr. Joan Chadbourne, EdD, is an author, coach, facilitator, and speaker who lives what she writes. Joan has a doctorate in Counseling Psychology from UMass. She is a contributing author in Chaos to Clarity: Sacred Stories of Transformational Change has co-authored the book Healing Conversations Now and published articles on relationships, positive aging, strength-based change, and intuition. www.joanchad.com and www.healingconversationsnow.com
Watch the Interview:
Photo credit: Poster is the property of the author Kat Kanavos & Sacred Stories Publishing.