Love is in the air everyday at Selfhelp. We love seeing our residents form new friendships and showing love to their significant other! Our resident couples model living, laughing and having fun together at The Selfhelp Home daily. They inspire us that it is never too late to have a good time together! Most of these lovebirds have learned over the years what traits and behaviors have been the key to their relationship success. We had the pleasure to listen to some of their timeless stories…
Falling in Love at First Site: Joseph and Esther Katz (Married 68 Years)
Snuggling on the couch like teenagers, Esther (92) and Joseph (95) met while working as Yeshiva English teachers in Brooklyn. One afternoon, during a fire drill as their classrooms were passing each other in opposite directions, Joseph fell in love with Esther at first site – that’s right, without ever speaking to her! When they went to the opera on their first date, he told her not to go out with anyone else. Esther was very impressed with Joseph and they began building their beautiful love story. As they speak, their words are intertwined like a beautiful tapestry. They have accepted aging and have grown closer since living together at The Selfhelp Home.
Joe says that the number one thing is to have gratitude for each other. He added, “You must appreciate what you have together because as the years advance, each one becomes indispensable to the other person.”
Grateful for so many of the activities that our retirement community offers, Esther and Joseph keep physically and mentally active. The daily exercise program and yoga encourages their agility. Sunday concerts and listening to classical music on the radio keeps their love for music growing. Esther believes it is very healthy to do activities together and also separately, “It’s exactly they way it should be. Do your own thing and come back together to talk about it.”
Joe likes going to book club and Esther attends groups on aging and enjoys Tai Chi. When they return to their apartment, discussion keeps the spark alive as they each share what they’ve learned that day. Aging affects everyone, however, Esther encourages young couples to “share everything and develop common interests.” Esther and Joe continue learning from each other.
Passing down words she has always remembered, “Before you are married keep your eyes wide open, after you’re married keep them half closed.” Esther and Joe count their blessings and greatly appreciate their beautiful family and life together.
With many years ahead, their favorite quote is “Grow old with me, the best is yet to be.” (Browning)
May I Have This Dance? Jack and Roz Goldberg (3rd Marriage)
Jack (84) and Roz (85) found each other 28 years ago on the dance floor at a Jewish Singles Dance at the Purple Hyatt on Touhy Avenue after both experiencing two unsuccessful marriages. It was his first experience with this particular Jewish group. Roz’s girlfriend wanted to dance with Jack. He said, “No, I would rather dance with you.”
They spent the evening dancing together. With Roz in his arms, Jack felt like “I’m at home now.” He couldn’t wait to take her out on a date. They met for coffee with her girlfriend as a chaperone. Roz hesitated to share her address but she gave him her phone number. In September they started dating and were married in May the following year.
True love and partnership at last! Finally, Jack and Roz had done it right. It was the best marriage for both of them. For 27 years they lived in her home but moved to Selfhelp Home in December of 2017. While Roz sleeps a lot during the day, they love attending the Sunday concerts together. Jack participates in the daily morning exercise program and enjoys yoga. He loves the “News and Views” discussions. He is deeply devoted to his wife. Jack is very happy to keep her company holding her hand while she rests and helps feed her at mealtime.
Jokingly, Jack didn’t know if he was the best resource for this interview being on his 3rd marriage, however he believes, “If you love someone very much, you care for them more than you care for yourself. You are willing to make sacrifices for the other person.” Taking each other into consideration builds a strong marital foundation!
Seniors share so much wisdom, young couples just need to be willing to listen. Research echoes what our residents have also proven throughout their marriages.
Tips for Everlasting Love:
- Keep Up With The Changes – Our partners are not the same people they were 20, 30, or 40 years ago. Take the time to learn what your partner’s goals, dreams and future plans might be. Stay in lock step together.
- Find New Ways to Play – Research proves that couples who find new, innovative activities to enjoy throughout the years eliminate the rut and succeed together at keeping the spark alive! Experiencing different activities maintains closeness and keeps couples feeling younger.
- They Accept Aging – Partners accept that vulnerability comes with the years. They take care of one another as they deal with the aging process. Communicating their thoughts on what lies ahead, they know that they are truly there for the journey no matter what happens.