"Love is not for cowards."Rose Shapiro whispered the words with conviction as she sewed another row of sequins onto the new ivory silk jacket she'd wear the following evening. Ivory silk. Appropriate for celebrating a sixtieth wedding anniversary, and so different from the plain navy suit she'd worn to the wedding. She closed her eyes, shutting out that memory, shutting out the pain and confusion that accompanied her second marriage. Her marriage to Charlie.Love is not for cowards. She understood that now, but she hadn't in the beginning when Joe had been the love of her life, and cotton-candy dreams beckoned them as they said their I do's. She'd grown up a lot since then.She sighed and opened her eyes, once again stitching carefully. Not many couples reached sixty years of marriage. But she and Charlie had. She knotted and cut her thread, then viewed her efforts with a critical eye.Cataract surgery last year had turned out to be a boon to her sewing skills, not that she'd thought of sewing as an art form. Using a needle had been a measure of economy during her girlhood, and she hadn't been able to break the habit later on when her pockets were fuller. Especially not with the prices of manufactured goods. In amused tones, her three children had blamed her "Depression mentality.""The jacket is beautiful, Rosie mine," came a warm voice from the bedroom doorway. "But not as beautiful as you.""Maybe it's your turn to have a cataract removed." She glanced playfully at Charlie's sparkling green eyes, also noting his recent haircut. Her man of sixty years was ready to party."There's nothing wrong with my vision," he replied, reaching for her hand. "Come on, sweetheart. It's time to practice our moves. Don't want to make fools of ourselves on the dance floor tomorrow night."No chance of that--at least not when she was wrapped in Charlie's arms--but she didn't argue. She replaced the jacket on the padded hanger and stepped toward him."Ah, Rosie..." He held her close and began to hum "La Vie En Rose." Her song. He'd been singing it to her in two languages ever since they got married...after the war. In fact, Charlie had been romancing her since he'd met her. She hadn't always appreciated it; he wasn't Joe.But they'd gotten past that, although not easily and not quickly. Which was why she'd planned a special surprise for Charlie tomorrow.She kissed him on the cheek, inhaling his woodsy cologne. "Mmm...I've always loved that fragrance.""You think I don't know?" His laughter was deep and carefree. "Life is good, Rosie, huh?""As good as possible for a couple of creaky octogenarians," she replied. She had no complaints, except...Love is not for cowards.Her heart lurched. If she was blinking rapidly now to stave off tears, they were not for herself, but for her beloved granddaughter and the young husband who adored her. Pregnant Elizabeth. Devoted Matthew. Matthew--who was about to be deployed to Iraq.She inhaled deeply. Gathered her thoughts. The children would have to find their own way, of course, but the irony struck Rose, who'd been in the same position--pregnant with Susan, Elizabeth's mother, when Joe shipped out.Keeping silent would kill Rose now. But she would not turn Liz's phantom worries into concrete reality. When Joe died, Rose had fallen apart; Liz didn't need to hear the details. Matthew would not die. At least, he probably wouldn't.She would not have Liz thinking Charlie was second best in Rose's eyes. He didn't deserve that. War was war. Some returned and some didn't, and life had to begin again. God help them all.She smiled up at Charlie and reaffirmed her original answer. "Life is good, Charlie. Very good."Her voice quivered this time, and he squeezed her hand. "Matt's a doctor. He won't be on the front lines.""You a mind reader?""Only with you." He kissed her quickly and added, "Paul drove over. HeBarrett, Linda is the author of 'The Soldier and the Rose [Harlequin Everlasting Love Series #19]', published 2007 under ISBN 9780373654215 and ISBN 0373654219.