A tall, well preserved, 80-year-old woman (I’ll call her Gloria), comes to see me professionally. A year ago, Gloria was told by her doctor that she had terminal cancer. Cancer cells were discovered in fluid they removed from her lungs after a bout of pneumonia. The doctor told her she had an “adenocarcinoma” but could not identify the primary source. Nevertheless, he told her she would likely be dead in three months.
Gloria was scared to death by the diagnosis and prognosis, so she sought out other opinions. She consulted with complementary medical specialists, nutritionists, body workers, energy healers, spiritual guides, and medical intuitives. Gloria also made an appointment at the Integrative Medicine Clinic at the University of Arizona. She sought me out because she worked in Indian country for many years and wanted to create a healing ceremony for herself. We have been meeting over the past six months, nullifying her doctor’s dire prediction for her, and she is thriving.
She is a remarkable, energizing, engaging, lover of life who is a retired university professor and a consummate world traveler (she has explored the jungles in Africa and climbed in the Himalayas). Divorced in midlife after 22 years of marriage, she has two children and several grandchildren, all of whom she is quite close to.
Gloria felt the only thing missing from her healing ceremony was having more love in her life. “What do you mean,” I asked her, and she said, “I need a love life, it’s part of my healing ceremony.” I, of course, got into it and asked her how long it had been since she’d been with a man, thinking it must be decades, and she said, “It’s been a little over six months.”
I loved it and laughed. “I need a younger man,” Gloria pined, “the older ones are either slow, sedentary or immobilized.” I look at her and do not see an old woman; she is fit, engaging, and intellectually alive. Gloria sees herself, as the equivalent of a 48-year-old. “I like dark complexioned men,” she said and smiled coyly.
I recommended she take up salsa dancing — lots of younger men, many of whom like fair-skinned women, especially those who can still move like a 48-year-old. But, Gloria said she never liked dancing because she is too tall and doesn’t like dancing with shorter men. “I can’t dance,” she finally confessed. I told her if she could make love, she could dance, same moves except you’re standing up. She said she was willing to try most things. We giggled together and I told her lots of women were with younger men: Demi Moore and Susan Sarandon, among others, and my wife and daughters all say it’s about time.
Gloria had dinner with her grandson recently. She told me, “We talk about everything, as long as he is interested and wants to know, I don’t screen much.” But last time he said, “Whatever you do grandma, please find a guy who is older than me.”
No matter what the age of your dancing partner, get out there and do a little salsa for whatever ails ya’.