Love Is Ageless: Mrs. Taylor’s Story
on February 9th, 2016 in Spirit | No Comments
We live an era where many seem to have forgotten the definition of love. Ironically, while technology like the internet and social media make us more interconnected than ever, we have been experiencing more isolation from one another. In this modern context, the true meaning of love becomes blurred as we mire ourselves in the day-to-day affairs that seem to swallow up more and more of our time.
Yet, it does not have to be this way. Modern love and ancient love are one and the same, and we can experience every bit of the classic love that helped people stay together and happy for decades if we simply put our minds to it. If such a task seems impossible, consider the story of Mrs. Nora Taylor. She and her husband were married for 70 wonderful years until his death in 2010.
Throughout the entire marriage, Mrs. Taylor claims that they never once had a spat. Her secret? Surprisingly simple: Do not let minor personal matters get in the way of the love you share together. Even something that seems incredibly important in the moment can be understood as trivial the next, leaving the person with regret at what they had said.
Learn about her wisdom and perspective at the ripe old age of 86 as she reflects on the best, most enduring partnership she had experienced in her lifetime.
How Mrs. Taylor and Her Husband Met
Mrs. Taylor: I was a nurse in a hospital in a small Alabama town living in the nurse’s quarters next to the hospital. I had a friend I knew from the country who had moved to work at a nearby Greyhound Bus station. So she came over one afternoon and said, “Do you have a date tonight?” And I said: “Yeah, with you! We’re going to the movies.” And then she said, “Well, there’s been a boy. He’s been coming in there eating at the Greyhound bus station cafeteria. Today he came in and said he had another boy who would tag along if I said I’d go out with him,” and she told him yes.
That night she came on up again and she said, “There’s this big farmer outside.” I remember that it was December because it was quite cold, and this boy was sitting out there in his car with the engine running and called her over. They started talking, and eventually we got the courage to invite them up to my living room there in the nurse’s quarters. They were nice, just as nice as you could be. This other boy asked me for a date the next night. I said no at first because I’m going down to the country to see my parents. He said, “Well, can I take you down there?” Well, everything I said I just couldn’t get away, but eventually I gave in and said “Okay.” Well, my dad and mamma just fell in love with this boy instantly. They were real with him so he asked me for a date the next night and I said “Okay.”
Interviewer: When did you guys decide to get married?
Mrs. Taylor: Well, at the time he was serving in the military. He was a sailor in the Navy and had to go back to his post. Before he left, he asked me to marry him then and there and go back with him. We had known each other for only eleven days.
Interviewer: Wow! How did you know so quickly that was the right person for you?
Nora: How did he know I was the right person? [laughs] Well that’s something I don’t know. I guess that’s what they call love at first sight. I wasn’t scared. I guess I should’ve been, but he was so good to me. He was handsome. He took me to meet his mother and his sister; his father had passed away.Within just a few days, we got married, and I went back to Rhode Island with him. He served in the military with me living on the base, and I never had any trouble at all. He was just wonderful. I would never do that again I don’t think. I don’t know if we would work out now, back then I couldn’t think.
Interviewer: You were in love!
Mrs. Taylor: [Laughs] Well, he definitely was. I loved him, too and decided to trust him that it could work between us. It’s my love story. Love at first sight. Love at first sight, and it worked out wonderful for 70 years.
Her Best Relationship Advice She’s Received
Interviewer: Okay. So what is the best relationship advice you have ever received? Maybe from your grandmother or your mother — did they ever tell you anything that maybe just stuck with you?
Mrs. Taylor: I remember my mother telling me if you start to feel an argument coming on, keep your mouth shut. I thought that was pretty good advice. That way you won’t say anything in the heat of the moment.
Interviewer: That sounds like pretty good advice.
Mrs. Taylor: Pretty good advice for sure! It’s true: If you don’t say anything, then you don’t have anything to regret. Sometimes it’s easy and quick to think of something to say back when you’re mad, but you may wish you hadn’t said it later.
Interviewer: You’re right. Saying something you can’t take back can last for a while, but when you’re mad it can come and go in minutes.
Mrs. Taylor: Yeah. I think my mother was telling me not to be mean. My husband and I never really had a mean argument.
Interviewer: Wow! After seventy years?
Mrs. Taylor: [Nods] Seventy years. We only knew each other eleven days before we were married.
Interviewer: So, do you have any advice you would give maybe a newlywed, someone who is just starting out?
Mrs. Taylor: One of the main things is that when you’re young you say, “I think I’m perfect now and I’m going to marry somebody. Well I’ll expect that person to be perfect.” No. He’s not perfect because you’re not perfect. He’s got his faults, his faults might be different than your faults. Am I right?
Mrs. Taylor: But we have to look over another person’s faults because I may brush my teeth before I go to bed, but he may not brush his teeth before he goes to bed. That shouldn’t make us fall out with each other. But sometimes it does. Maybe not over a toothbrush, but over something else, a little petty thing. As hard as we can work for a lifetime, we can still not make your mate perfect. You know what I mean? He or she’s not going to be perfect. It may take a lifetime and you never change somebody, you know?
Interviewer: Absolutely! So the advice that you would give people is just realize that no one’s perfect?
Mrs. Taylor: Mm-hmm [nods]It’s like I said, I didn’t worry about a lot of things that my husband liked and I didn’t like. To heck with it! You know? It’s because he parted his hair one way and I parted mine the other, but I didn’t fuss at him. He had the toothpaste worked at the bottom; I didn’t worry about it. When it made it all the way to the top, I’d tell him go buy a new tube. Don’t get upset over something like that. But some people do, you know?
Interviewer: That’s funny. That’s so funny I laugh because my husband and I … There are two different types of people. One, the folks that will take the toothpaste tube and they’ll push it all the way to the top and it’s nice and straight. And the other, they’ll just squeeze it.
Mrs. Taylor: I’m the one that squeezes it.
Interviewer: Oh, I’m a squeezer too! My husband is so nice and neat with his toothpaste, and he likes to make sure that it’s straight and smooth, and I’m just a squeezer. [laughs] Probably toothpaste is still in the tube but I already just move on to another tube.
Mrs. Taylor: I do the same thing. But who cares? You can always go buy another tube of toothpaste. [laughs]
Interviewer: That’s so funny.
Mrs. Taylor: You’d be surprised that people just, little things, well maybe not little to them, but things like that, you just work it out in the process of marriage. You just go through life without worrying about it. Just like the time I burnt my biscuits. My husband just got a knife and shaved it off. He didn’t chew me out about it, you know?
Interviewer: It’s the little things.
Mrs. Taylor: It’s the little things.
Interviewer: Some things you just have to look over.
Mrs. Taylor: Mm-hmm [nods] That’s right.
Interviewer: Well, thank you so much for your time, Mrs. Taylor. I got a lot out of this, and think many of our readers will, too.
Mrs. Nora Taylor’s words ring true even in an era quite different from the time she got married in 1950. What do you think? Is there any advice you would add to the conversation? Let us know by sharing on Facebook or Twitter, or commenting below.