The depth of love shared by this elderly man and his wife is simply, amazing, translated…
Because my father had his surgery recently, we’d all needed to, “check in” at the hospitals, morning, noon, and evening, and each time, we’re only allowed to be there for just half an hour, and, there were only TWO members of the families allowed in at once, and we’d needed to, wear the quarantine clothes too, it felt as if we’re playing that tug-of-war with time.
In front of every bed, in the field of vision of the patients, there was, a clock, and each second that ticked away, was the patients’ expectations: expecting that the families would come, and how they’d hoped, that time can pass slower, when they’re, surrounded by their loved ones. Of the family members sitting outside waiting, an elderly man had, caught my attention.
The elderly is very old, about eighty, perhaps? He was wheeled to the outside of the I.C.U. by a foreign nurse’s aide, from there, he’d, slowly, gotten up, and walked in, to visit his elderly wife; as the rest of the children and grandchildren came and went, only the elderly man stood by the bed, pulling on his wife’s hand, talking to her. Half an hour passed, and he’d tell his wife, “I’ll come by to see you later!”, then, he’d, leave.
I’m very curious, in the short thirty-minutes, what, was the elderly man telling the elderly woman? Is it like in the commercials, holding each other’s hands tightly, and saying, “I’m a vegetarian tomorrow, dear”, or, was it about how their grandchild scored the highest in her/his class? Thirty minute, to tell about the goings-on of life, that’s, too short, and, how much, exactly, did the elderly woman who’s playing that tug-of-war with death hear? How much can she remember? Or maybe, they’d been married for decades now, and everything that can be said, or done, are already, too much to mention, and the two of them, held each other’s hands tightly, and, so much passes, between them in the silence.
The elderly man was a “Gifted-and-Talented student” of the I.C.U., as the volunteers saw the empty wheelchair parked outside, they’d known, that he’d come, to visit his elderly wife again. That evening, the elderly man who wasn’t that well still came, at the visiting hours in the evenings started at seven o’clock, the volunteers greeted him, asked, “Grandpa, you were here earlier, and, you’d rushed over now?”, the elderly man smiled, and not said a single word, slowly, he’d, walked toward that specific spot, next to his own wife, held her hand, started whispering to her.
not my photograph…
The autumn nights got cooler now, reminding people, that the heated summer was, already over, and the elderly man didn’t know, that that, was the last time they will EVER get to see one another, that that, was the last time, he’ll ever be, holding these, warmed hands, because a little over an hour later, the elderly woman, passed away. Hearing the volunteers told, that when the family members came to settle the elderly woman’s final affairs, mentioning how the elderly man was very happy, that he was there, for that thirty-minutes, to spend with his own wife.
Although, this, was only something that happened in a hospital, I still, can shake off the scene where the elderly man held tightly, onto the elderly woman’s hands. Don’t know how many times, I’d imagined myself as an elderly, will I, die alone, in a nursing home? Or, will I die, being, surrounded by my friends and families? I think, the best way to leave, is leaving, in the arms of the ones you loved. I’m sure, that the elderly woman died happily, took the elderly man’s words, and, she will be, waiting for him on the other side.
The love expressed by this elderly man toward his own wife is deep all right, as he’d come visit her, day and evening, every single day, to talk to her, to hold her hands, and, you can’t find that sort of a love just anywhere now, because right now, we’re all focused on fast, and, this sort of an ever-lasting love only happens in the storybooks…