The other day, I sat in a coffee shop, sipping tea and writing. A couple in their early 70’s came in and sat at the table next to me. The wife clearly had something wrong, and I suspect it was dementia. The husband was loving, kind, patient and gentle with her. She spoke very softly, and appeared almost frightened.
I tried not to listen, but heard snippets of their conversation and his gentle approach with his wife. I sat writing and found my mind wandering back to my beloved grandma. It’s been a little over a year since she died due to complications from dementia.
Before I left, I wrote a quick note to the husband on a scrap of paper. “My grandma died of dementia a little over a year ago. I don’t know what you are dealing with, but may God bless you for your kindness, patience and love.” I slipped it to him as I walked to the bathroom at the back of the shop, not expecting to encounter them again.
As I left the bathroom, they stood there, waiting for her turn. I held the door, she went in and he stood guard. He looked at me and said, “Thank you.”
I gently squeezed his arm and smiled. My note had said it all, I didn’t need to say more.
He then said, “We’ve been married for 50 years. She took care of me for 50 years. Now, it’s my turn to take care of her.”
I squeezed his arm again, smiled and tears filled my eyes. And I walked away.
Genuine love is a remarkable gift and I got to see it first hand.