Later, I would now and then feel emotional connection with even older women and, as time went on, with some who were much younger. None of these was sexual, and I began to believe in cross-generational love, an affinity that spans decades of difference in the accident of birth.
All this comes to mind because Debbie Moore, my niece by marriage, is celebrating her sixtieth birthday in Vermont. Over decades I have known her, she is empathy squared: a nurse and much more by profession, a nurturer by nature.
One of a dozen children, she came to her calling early and ever since has elevated it to an unpretentious art, caring personified. Just being with her is a warming experience.
To all the Ploofs and Moores gathered tonight and especially my nephew Tom who has shared more than half her life, all happiness and a memory:
Decades ago Debbie was in Manhattan for a professional meeting and, after dinner, we were walking together talking animatedly and ran across my son’s high-school basketball coach who, on seeing a mismatched couple holding hands, quickly averted his eyes.
I was tickled both by his misapprehension and the realization that nothing could possibly have explained to him the existence of platonic cross-generational love.
But it does exist. To my joy. Happy birthday, Deb.