The Blank Stare

17 Aug

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I couldn’t help but notice. She was full of life, vibrant and talkative. He just sat staring this endlessly empty stare. I could see that it frustrated her and despite her attempts she could not gain his elusive attention. He got up and slowly shuffled away to get more coffee.

I sneaked over to their table, looked her in the eye and said, “Something happened to your husband that’s really changed him. I bet that’s hard.” Instantly the tears began to form and she replied, “Are you in the medical field?” I said, “No, I can just tell.” She told me he had a stroke four years ago and is now battling cancer. She said it is so hard to watch him changing from the man he was before his stroke and ensuing battle with cancer. I told her I can only imagine how challenging it is for her. She nodded in quiet, tearful agreement.

He came back to the table and we chatted a bit about their family and what brought them to Ohio from the thumb of Michigan (a beautiful place to visit if you ever get the chance). He went on to tell me about his job of 45 years for the same company. I told him I am always impressed by anyone who can stay in the same job for that many years. I could see how proud he was of his job and of the way he made his way through the ranks by working hard and being devoted to the company (a good lesson for us all).

I shook his hand and thanked him for chatting. As I left to go back to my table I started reflecting on those two. I’m sure they’ve been married for many years. I’m sure like every couple they’ve worked through some difficult things together.

I thought it strange and a little sad, that at the point in their lives when they have the time and resources to travel and see the things they always wanted to see, they are faced with the challenge of ailing bodies and frail health; yet their commitment remains and they are carrying on loving each other as they vowed to do many years before.

Love is both feeling and commitment (choice). The feelings do come and go, but real love remains committed no matter what. Today, I was blessed with a real-time illustration of love in action.

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4 Responses to “The Blank Stare”

  1. Jilanne Hoffmann September 18, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

    What a beautiful thing to do for that couple. You have a good heart.

    Like

  2. hudsonvalleygardens October 4, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

    Thank you for posting this. It’s a hard topic to handle because growing old and frail is such a sad thing. Commitment means being there for someone through the hard times. Thanks

    Like

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