Honey and I were very touched by the elderly couple across the hall from my hospital room. The wife had apparently had a stroke and was in a pitiful condition, and her frail-looking husband seemed to never leave her side.
The man took a quick liking to Honey, no doubt feeling the camaraderie of being stuck in the position of caretaker and the loneliness of the facility. As I was being wheeled out of my room after being discharged, he greeted us at the door, shaking Honey’s hand and wishing us all the best. His sad, tired eyes spoke volumes and nearly had me in tears.
On the way home, Honey commented about how sad that it was for two people who had been together for so long to be separated by illness or death, and suggested that it might be better to protect yourself from that kind of heartache by not letting yourself get too close to another person.
I told him that the time you get to spend with the person that you love makes it all worthwhile, and that the elderly husband probably wouldn’t take back a minute of the time that he spent with his wife if he could. Otherwise, why would he be sitting there day and night, waiting and hoping for her recovery?
Life is very hard, with many difficulties coming our way on an almost daily basis, increasing as we get older. We lose the ones we love, or they lose us, and we never seem to fully appreciate the time we have while we are still together and in good health.
As sad as the current situation is for this couple, their’s is also a beautiful love story; one of commitment and devotion, not matter what the circumstances. An everlasting bond that illness or death can never sever.