i am thankful for love
tonight i saw a picture of what real love looks like:
we went out to dinner at a local mexican restaurant and sat down next to two older couples. one couple was probably in their 80's and the other in their late 60's. as elliana, tucker and i got situated, the couple in their 80's walked back to the bathroom. the lady in her late 60's (i have to say 'late' because my dad is 60 and my mom is almost 60 and they seem so young). but she was talking to us about our kids and how old they were and how fast it all goes by. about half way through our meal the oldest couple had returned from the bathroom and the woman was wearing a bib. as her husband was gently escorting her to her seat, she stopped and noticed tucker and smiled and said hi to him. then they sat down and finished their meal. they commented about how "she just loves babies and children. she always stops and says hi and is just drawn to them." tucker had turned around and was staring at her as she was smiling and talking to him. "they pretty much understand the same amount, she has alzheimers." the woman informed. i realized that he obviously was helping her go to the bathroom as well. her husband was feeding her the rest of her dinner and was telling her to open wide. "i bet you can relate," he said to us. "we come here every tuesday but its always new to her. we go to ice cream every time afterwards also, and she always orders double chocolate. she doesn't know any different, but she loves it. she loves babies too." tucker just kept staring at her and she was staring at him. i felt tears welling up and it was everything i could do to hold them back. i knew this table was going to keep conversing with us and if i started crying i would've just felt awful. justin was looking at me and saying, "what? why are you?" i cut him off, "don't. i'll tell you in the car." so we finished our meal and they finished theirs. the husband fed her tender spoonfuls of her meal, wiped her mouth, wiped her nose, and tenderly helped her out of her chair and out of the restaurant.i can only imagine how unrewarding that husbands life must be. a lot of work for not a lot of payoff. she is like an infant, as he said. but instead of learning new milestones each day as tucker does, she loses them and slowly is fading away. she is not the woman he married. but she is the love of his life. i can't imagine ever having to feed justin, or him feeding me. as i watched him leaning in towards her, so concerned with her every move, making sure she ate enough, drank her water, wiped her mouth, i saw true love. he loved her because of who she was, not what she did. he was so unselfish and tender and genuine. and i saw all that in the whole 20 minutes we sat in that corner with them. and for some reason it struck me.
maybe it was because today tucker said "mama" for the first time and i was so proud of him. he says it with these chubby cheeks and it almost sounds like mbamba. but that husband related to me, and i related to him. but i saw love from his end. i bet when he gets up with her in the middle of the night he's thankful that he has one more night with her. rather than just wishing she would sleep through the night. (like i do.)
and then after dinner we went to ice cream and saw the older couples there too. tucker had fallen asleep on the ride over so i stayed in the car with him while elliana and justin went inside. and honestly i couldn't watch them again. it just broke my heart. i'm crying as i'm writing this as it just spoke volumes to me.
so easily we lose sight of what's important. SO easily. all the things that we fill our day with and busy our lives with. and at the end of the day, all you really need is love.