Her hair was more silver than gold now.
There were lines on her face, and everyone would have thought those at the corners of her mouth his favorites, him being who he was. And he did love them; they were laughter, happy moments shared, souvenirs of every good day they'd had. But they weren't his favorites.
Those were around her eyes, radiating outward across her skin like she had radiated through his life. Those were the lines he loved best, the lines only he understood. Everyone laughed with him, but only she could give him this. People who met her these days would see years of squinting, of glaring at his pranks and laughing at his jokes; he saw patience, curiosity and observance, acceptance, notice. She was patient with him while he found his way, in the beginning and every day since, just as she was with their children, and their children's children. She was curious about him when everyone else believed they knew him, and observant enough to know there was more. She accepted his jokes and shared in them, and he liked to think those lines eased, delayed, when he did the same for her, showed her how much that meant. More than anything, she noticed, noticed him, who he was, what he could be, and she made him notice too.
Not a single line was age, not a single one was worry. They were a map of their life together, and they were love.