A friend of mine recently died. He was in his 70s and had Parkinsons and MS for years. His death was really a gift, but it's still hard. He'd been in nursing care for 8 years and for 8 years his wife, my friend, visited him twice a day to keep him company and later, to feed him and sit by his bedside.
I was with her when he died and although it was a wrenching experience, I could only view it as a blessing for him. She's adapting to her new life, but they were married more than 50 years. They got married when she was 19 and he's been her only life.
The funeral was standing room only because he was a big part of the community, and the firemen turned out because he had been a volunteer fire chief. I was fine throughout the whole ceremony, but at the end, when the family left, the pianist played "True Love" (the Cole Porter song). That's when it really hit me. This was a case of true love if ever there was one.
Not many people have such a love in their lives. I love my husband, don't get me wrong, but he's not my entire world (and I'm not his). And longevity isn't an indicator of love. I know people who've been married a long time and only inertia keeps them together. I know one other couple who I believe have a true love relationship. It's not always smooth, but it's solid and strong.
Romance writers often write about true love, but I wonder how many have ever really experienced it? I seldom think of the romances I write in that light, except in my time travel books, where the romance was the reason for the reincarnation. In my other books, I don't think 'true love' enters in.
We never know what goes on in the hearts of others, and perhaps there many couples like this in the world. But I suspect it's a rare occurrence. If it happens to you, cherish it. And if it doesn't, don't envy those who have it and don't look for it. It isn't a thing that's found. It simply is.