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Friday, April 26, 2013

Overheard at the Track

Not the track I go to, but very similar.

Everyday when I am racing around the indoor track, I can't help but notice some of the others that also avail themselves of this facility.

There are the young mothers with baby in sling, walking through fatigue and baby weight gain, the high school girls, who move in a pack, other middle age women, trying to keep their bodies healthy, and this one elderly couple, holding hands..

These are not "my" elderly couple,
but I did not think I should take their photo.

Each time I see the "elderly couple" I am struck by the man's gentle guiding of his wife. It appears she has some sort of dementia. Sometimes as they walk along, she steps outside of the painted boundary of "their" lane.

I over hear him say: "Now dear, watch out for the line" as he tugs on her hand. She looks over at him, surprised to see her hand connect to anyone.  The expression in her eyes is one of quizzical wonder, as she stumbles back inside the lines.

I navigate around them in the passing lane and over hear him saying "So nice to walk, isn't dear? So good for us, don't you think? "

I don't hear her respond, but notice he is holding prayer beads in his free hand, and grips both the beads and his wife's hand, tightly.

As I pass them, I get a bird's eye view of their faces, his intent, her's far away. I also get to hear their conversation, or I should say, his conversation, as his wife doesn't seem to be saying anything.

Who knows, maybe she has used all of her words for the day, something my husband often has said to me: "Naomi, I just don't have any words left today."  Or maybe she has nothing to say or maybe she no longer speaks, I really just don't  know.

What I do know is: marriage when it endures, gives us the opportunity to suffer long, and still be kind.


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