Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Where was he today?

I'm a people watcher by nature. I can't help myself. When I'm out shopping, part of the joy I have is in watching the people around me and then wondering what their lives may be like. I love watching other moms and how they associate with their children. I love watching new dads awkwardly hold their newborn child with that look of pure bliss plastered upon their faces. I love the look a kid gets as he travels down the candy aisle. My favorite thing however, are elderly couples. Couples, that you know have been together for a long, long time and yet still have an amazing kind of love. The kind of love each and every one of us hope to have one day. It's such a rare thing to see, but when I get the chance, it leaves me with such a warm spot in my heart.

One of my favorite elderly couples happen to be regulars at the Target I shop at. He's this cute old man who, you can tell, has worked hard over the years. He walks with a walker which is also fashioned with an oxygen tank. However, he always has the most pleasant smile plastered across his face. He's the kind of man I always picture when I think of the perfect grandpa. His wife, who I'm sure was quite a beauty in her time, is the caregiver in the family. You can tell she's had a lot of practice and she truly takes pride in what she does. The way she looks at her husband is priceless. It's easy to tell he's her entire world.

You can always find them in the snack shop at the front of the store. She gets him settled with his Diet Coke and word search, then she settles in with her coffee - - black. After a little chit-chat with the employees, she usually heads off to make her purchases, leaving him to his own devices. After she's gone, without fail, the employee behind the counter will always sneak him a handful of popcorn which, I imagine, is one of his favorite things, judging by the way he gobbles it up. Later on, she returns, cleans up their little mess, all the while giving him the cutest look of disapproval when she discovers the stray popcorn kernels, and they go on their way.

I've seen this couple other places here in town, and while he is always with her, he tends to wait in the car more often than not. So, I know Target is a special place for the both of them.

Which is why I was shocked to see her today, but not him. She was there, at her usual table, with a few friends, but he was nowhere to be seen. Never before, have I seen one without the other. Sometimes friends would be with them, but most of the time they'd be alone. My heart dropped a little when I saw this.

No matter how bad my day had been, or how bad the boys had acted up during my shopping excursion, seeing them while I was checking out, always made me feel a little better. While I've never personally talked to them, they have made a difference in my life. They've shown me that true love does still exist, and that what I have with Tim is very special. I hope that we're like that one day. Best of all, I know we will be.

Even knowing all that, part of my heart is breaking today, as I'm left wondering: Just where exactly was he today??