Recently I took an afternoon and spent some time in a book store browsing through magazines. Nearby an elderly couple sat sharing ideas for a new garden with each other. They discussed things about their children, grandchildren, and extended family. They spoke of doctor appointments. Every once in a while she would touch his hand ever so gently as he browsed through magazines. She took out her little pill box and gave him medication. All the meanwhile I sat wondering about the amount of time these two people have spent together in this lifetime. How many moments of joy, intimacy, laughter, sadness, remorse, anger, love, forgiveness, loss, and other scope of emotions have been shared that can break or mend a relationship? They were so lovely. At one given moment she got up to get another book and he helped her. Then he waited for her return to help slide her chair in.
These are the stories that grab me, take me into a place of serenity, and give me hope for our humanness. I hope those moments are not wasted in past generations. Chivalry, politeness and generosity seem like a lot to ask these times. There was presence between them and in our techie-busy lives it seems like it’s disappearing.
There’s something so tender about watching a couple who has been with each other for decades. You can always tell which ones have a mutual respect and which ones can’t wait for the other to just hurry up and drop dead. When I witness such sincere appreciation it makes my heart melt. True human spirit shines when no one is present…when they don’t know they are being observed. These two fragile souls seemed to have a connection that beamed from each other…a collective of oneness.
Listening to their random tones, sweet words, and concerns, made me think of how it must be to be with someone that long. How does it feel to know someone’s secrets, pains, fears, weaknesses and all their attributions, successes, virtues that no one ever sees? Couples who truly love each other after fifty years begin to look alike. They finish each others’ sentences. They know that silence speaks volumes. There is a connection that goes beyond anything else in our humanity. There is a knowing that breaks all barriers of time and space. I guess it doesn’t matter if it’s a year or 60. Mutual respect, similar beliefs, love, depth, gratitude and acceptance are the foundation blocks to any relationship.
Between one thing and another, checking out ideas through all the home/garden magazines, I began to feel gratitude for their presence near me. I began to feel as if I visited with them directly and we shared a cup of tea. They reminded me of love and respect, sharing and compassion, and all the in-between’s of this sweet life. I have been blessed to take those lessons and move forward in the best way possible…through love!