Elizabeth Schemmer was a divorced 40-year-old when she came across the personal ad that would change her life. The ad began: "Just divorced and ready to live again. Cantankerous, tall, profane, affectionate 60-year-old has rewritten will to leave everything to the last woman I have breakfast with. If you're 21 or over but under 75, svelte, cuddly, can read and make a decent ham and cheese sandwich, don't mind waiting in hospital emergency rooms and enjoy a spontaneous lifestyle, you could be the lucky lady."
Elizabeth replied and met Ben a month later. "When I saw him, my heart broke," Elizabeth says. "He was 6'2" and 130 pounds and near death. And there was no way I could love this man physically or emotionally. I just couldn't do it. The person on paper was solid. Strong. The person I saw belonged in a nursing home."
She asked to continue a writing relationship with Ben, but he was persistent. Eight months later, he had gained 50 pounds, and they fell madly in love. Despite their happiness, he was still very sick, but the couple married anyway and traveled the world. "He made me want to live again because he had character," Elizabeth says. "He had guts. He was funny. He was smart."
After 11 wonderful years of marriage, Ben died in Elizabeth's arms.