The other week my husband’s family home he grew up in all those years ago sold. With that transition I came to terms with the fact that “home” – complete with all its memories and sense of love- is not a destination per se, but rather a soft place in your heart where you hold dear memories with loved ones (both passed and present). That very same week my husband and I were in the waiting room for a lengthy period (which is the unfortunate trade off we have for having an amazing doctor). It was here we witnessed something out of the ordinary, a remarkable relationship that could teach us all a thing or two about love, life and indeed the world.
Hubby and I were playing idly on our phones while trying not to inhale the germs made prevalent by the sniffling and sneezing of co-patients nearby. Ah, flu season! You had me at ah-choo. I digress; while we were there a really sweet elderly looking couple emerged from the doctor’s treating room together clutching hands. What remains unclear is if the clutching of hands was a united show of love or a more practicable solution to stability involved in walking on an elderly frame.
The sweet old woman who donned gloves as though she could have been channeling her inner royal went over to the counter at our local medical centre and held the receptionists hand and whispered something with familiarity before turning to leave. On the way out she announced loudly with animation that she couldn’t get out. She proceeded to continually pull the clearly marked “push” door. Her husband sighed and said, “You have to push the door.” He was reassuringly assertive but patient nonetheless. She gave a giggle as he opened the door.
As the door flung open the old woman looked alarmed and yelled out, “Where’s the car? It’s gone!” Again the old man sighed this time waving his hands and saying, “We parked down the street.” And so the couple disappeared for a few moments down the street. A few minutes later they re-emerged at the clinic looking a bit frazzled to again speak to the patient receptionist. It was at this point that it became apparent they had actually caught a taxi to the medical centre together. Presumably that was only an hour or so beforehand.
Upon this revelation the couple seemed less confused and while giving some relieved chuckles they again set off this time to catch a bus home for the return leg of their adventure. One can only hope they were up with the latest Myki travel technology or indeed discovered an understanding bus driver. They clung so fiercely (and perhaps with desperation for all I know) to their independence. A few things occurred to me about this…. Firstly, there was the fact that our generation could learn much about relationship goals from these beautiful, stoic and big hearted strangers.
There was something really brave about the couple embarking on this outing together. Perhaps I’m a pea heart but I would have given up and requested a home visiting doctor long before this point of my journey in life. Secondly, the fact that the duo was undoubtedly committed to weathering the storm of a confusing modern world together was obvious, beautiful and also a bit gut wrenching. My own husband was actually quite concerned for the well-being of the beautiful strangers and said, “I think they may have lost their marbles…. I hope they are ok and make it home.”
I watched the beautiful stranger’s backs as they disappeared again beyond the car-park and relative safety of that doctor’s clinic into a big wide and sometimes scary world. And, I couldn’t help but think as long as the couple had each other and continued to face life’s adventures together they’d be fine. For all the trials that faced them ahead it seemed that one aspect of their lives that was still very much intact. And that was their solid love, loyalty and big hearts. Given that home is where the heart is I squeezed Steve’s hand and gave him a wink reassuring him, “Babe, they’re beautiful together and in love and it looks like they will be forever. So, I think they already are home.”