I became an eyewitness to love. Actually what I saw were little acts of love, and these are among the best and purest examples of love there can ever be. I mean the kind of love that becomes a soft and gentle verb. Picture It, while waiting at the Coumadin Clinic like the rest, for someone there to respect the appointment time I’d rushed from my home like a madman to keep, but somehow the medical profession doesn’t seem to respect or really acknowledge. So, I’m waiting as people slowly filter by, while others sit like I sit, pretending to be engrossed in Facebook or the shiny magazines sprinkled about on surrounding tables (most of which are at least 6 to 9 months out of date).
Each time the door would open, we’d shift, redirect our eyes to whoever entered the room. They would steal our gaze temporarily before we’d head back to our cell phone or shiny magazines. But my eyes refused to shift back. Instead they remained fixed on the elderly couple who had just walked into the outer waiting room. This was the kind of couple you just know has been married since time was a child. They are old, but still young inside their love. I could intuit this by the slow and gingerly way the husband treated his wife as he made room for her (and her walker) to make it safely to a seat. I could tell this because it was more than just polite concern… it was an act of love, something he had no doubt been displaying for the last 50, 60 or 70 years for this woman. I sat there pretending not to stare and watched them live inside that love they shared. The wife needed help getting around, and instead of letting her rise, he went to the table and asked which magazines she wanted to see. It was such a gentle thing, a small thing… but it too was an act of love. This man, I could tell, was not in the best of health either. His gait was slow, his posture, a bit stooped, his feet not so surefooted, but he was still able to move, to walk, to get around on his own. I imagined there had been times when he was the weaker one, health-wise, and it was she who did all those small, gentle but loving things for him. Together they truly were the physical ideal of that marriage vow “In sickness and in health… until death do us part.
I suddenly thought about their deaths: which one of them would go first into that bright and shining light, and just how long it might take the heartsick other to join their partner? I gathered it would not take very long at all. People who truly, deeply, madly love each other tend not to survive for very long without their counterpart, that other twin heart, that other loving soul living, breathing and witnessing life right beside them. No matter which one was waiting to see the Doctor at one of the Cardiac Clinics that share the waiting room. I wondered if they realized how lucky and blessed they were.
Suddenly all the attention shifted to me as the nurse walked up tapping me on the shoulder “George I’m Not Going To Call You Again!”