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True Love Sticks Around

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My family and I were driving home from my brother's soccer tournament when we stopped at a small, nondescript restaurant to quickly grab some dinner then continue on our way. Tired of being in the car, my brothers and I soon began playing a card game at our end of the table, much to the chagrin of my well-mannered parents. I briefly glanced up from the game we’d been playing, temporarily bored. I caught a glimpse of the elderly couple sitting at the table across from us. While I am a terrible judge of age, they were most likely somewhere in their 80s, perhaps a tad older. I felt a pang as I recognized the dazed, mildly lost look on the man’s face; it was an expression I often witnessed on people afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease. An expression I so often saw on my great-grandmothers face: confusion warring with blankness. For some reason, this couple captivated my attention, and I watched with a growing sense of sorrow as the women picked up a roll from the basket on the table and proceeded to cut and butter it for whom I can only presume was her husband. It was this simple act that filled me with an ineffable sense of sadness, one of which I can’t explain. This scene in this bustling restaurant, in a small east Texas town, so insignificant, impacted me in a way I didn’t believe possible. Perhaps I, a hopeless romantic, sensationalized it in my mind; but to me that action represented all a marriage should be. A total and utter dedication to your better half. We’ve all seen those cutesy pictures on websites, depicting the aging couples whose love seems to be everlasting, and that was what occurred to me as I watched this couple. I was startled out of my contemplation as our table began to rise and meander to the lobby. Slowly, reluctantly, I rose from my chair, sliding it under the table, straightening my skirt, delaying as long as possible for who knows what reason. Finally, with one last glance in the couple’s direction, I offered a small smile to the lady and turning, quickly walking off in the direction of my family.”




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