We are so proud of the interns who worked with us over the past summer! This post comes from Madeline Weinfeld, a junior at Cornell University majoring in Human Development and minoring in Business. She reports that she truly enjoyed every interview she conducted during the internship and applies the lessons she learned to her life today. The exoerience helped Madeline realize how important and valuable elders are, and also how important it is that people work in this field. Madeline is excited to be back at school where she can help educate her peers and make Cornell’s campus more aware of both the risk and resiliency within the aging population.
Madeline shares a lesson she learned from on wise elder: Friendship is critically important in marriage:
Beverly, age 87 is an incredibly upbeat and optimistic lady. She was a pleasure to talk to and was really excited to be able to share some of her life experiences and expertise. Of all of the stories she shared and the memories she recalled, Beverly was most confident and enthusiastic about the importance of family in her life. In particular, she was especially passionate about her remarkable relationship with her late husband.
Right now, I’m widowed. I’ve been widowed for over 20 years. My husband was only 66. He was my childhood boyfriend, lover, friend, everything. And we had a wonderful, wonderful marriage.
Beverly never re-married, and even though she had lost her husband so long ago, you could still sense the love she had for him. I was intrigued by her seemingly unconditional love for a man she had known since childhood. When I asked her what advice she had for having a long and happy marriage, Beverly shared original advice that made perfect sense. She said:
Always find someone who can be your best friend. It is always better to be in like than in love. Love does change. Yes, it stays with you, but it does change. Like never changes. And that is what helps marriages last, to be in like.
This idea of being “in like” is so simple, yet I think it is often neglected in forming relationships because it is so easy to get caught up in the exciting thrill of infatuation. Beverly was confident that being “in like” was the most necessary component when finding a partner with whom you will one day create a family of your own.