Elderly Observations

Today, I witnessed something special, but I almost missed it.

I was in my air conditioned car, waiting outside the eye doctor’s office for my mom to come out. She had texted that she was almost done, so I pulled right up in front of the stairs. Subconsciously, I noticed two elderly people exit the office. It took a few moments for my mind to catch up with my eyes and register what was happening.

Both individuals were slow-moving and walked with a cane. The Mrs. had quite a few bandages on her face, as if she had recently taken a tumble. The older gentleman was slowly trying to navigate his way down the stairs, as was the Mrs. Then he looked up to make sure his bride also was safely on her way down. Unfortunately, she was stuck way up at the top of the stairs, so he began to shuffle his way back up to help her. He reconnected with his wife and was trying to somehow assist her down the stairs without himself falling when my mind finally kicked into gear and registered what was happening in front of me.

While the site was a sweet one, it was clearly an accident waiting to happen. I jumped out of the car, telling them to let me help them out. The Mrs. clearly needed a steady strong arm to hold on to, and trust me, that wasn’t the Mr’s. arm, it was mine. Then I encouraged the Mr. to focus on getting himself back down the stairs and over to their car.

They were so thankful for my help, and really, I was embarrassed for not noticing the need sooner. Making small-talk as we very slowly (emphasis on the very slowly) walked to their car, I asked them how long they’d been married. With a smile, the Mrs. looked over to her Mr. for the answer, to which he replied, “69 years!” (I’m pretty sure she wasn’t sure of the exact number of years, but she was sure that her Knight in Shining Armour would know!)


I congratulated them both and said that it was an incredible accomplishment to make it to 69 years! I then said my husband and I have been married 31 years, but WOW - they had more than doubled our number of years being wed! As the gentleman opened the car door, I told him I would help his wife get in on the passenger side. He thanked me again as he started toward the drivers side.

But then he stopped. He didn’t just stop, he backtracked and almost politely pushed me out of the way so he could help his Mrs. get into the passenger’s seat of the car. I just slowly backed away. My job there was done, and the Mr. was clearly in charge and taking over.

The reason was very clear to me.

You see, while I was helping the sweet Mrs., I had noticed that she had completely soiled her clothes during the doctor’s visit. I felt bad for her, but of course I wasn’t going to say anything. I just wanted to make sure she got to her car safely without any tumbles.

But the Mr., well I believe he cut me off and took over getting the Mrs. into the car because he too saw the soiled clothing. It was clear to me that as best as he could, he was trying to protect her from any embarrassment.

I witnessed a rare sight today, friends. This man cherished his wife dearly. It was so evident in his every move and how he smiled at her, frail as they both were.

In reflection, it caused me to take time and thank God for my dear Mr. If by God's grace we make it to 69 years of marriage, I know it will be him helping me down the stairs, taking care of my needs before his own. It will be him trying to help me avoid any embarrassments caused by old age. (Hopefully it will not be the same kind of embarrassments, though!) It will be my Mr. cherishing me, much like I witnessed the Mr. and Mrs. today.

No, we aren’t even half way to the marriage milestone that this couple experienced. But today I thank God that I already know how it will be when we get older because my Mr. already actively loves and cherishes me each day. I realize that it very well could be me helping him after 69 years of marriage, but this one thing I know: if God allows, we will make it to 69 years of marriage bliss. Much like the sweet old Mr. and Mrs. that I observed today. For better or worse, for richer or poorer, and in sickness and in health.

Thank you, God!











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