Sometimes you hear stories that floor you. Real life journeys that bring tears and goosebumps to the surface. They make you realise there are things in this world more powerful, more important, than the stress you’re feeling about your job, or the money you do or don’t have, or the way you want to spend Christmas this year.
The story of an elderly couple, recently shared by Humans of New York, does just that.
He was 19, she was 16, when they met. They’ve been married for more than 50 years.
Their life together has not been about grand gestures. He doesn’t remember proposing – getting married was a just a natural progression of their relationship.
Their’s has been a “simple” life, made rich by small moments. Volunteering at the senior centre. She played the piano, he turned the pages. Everyday things were nade more joyful being together.
Now, as her mind is being eaten away by the disease of dementia, these moments are more important than ever.
Sometimes, he says, she makes yakking noises. He doesn’t understand what she’s saying, but still he listens.
Sometimes he makes her laugh by pulling faces or blowing on her head.
Sometimes she runs away. And he will find her and bring her home.
Other times they just hold each other. She likes to slide her hand under his shirt to heel the skin of his stomach.
He misses going to dances with her. But he is honoured to serve her. He is so grateful for the love they have, that she is his to care for.
It’s been hard, but he wouldn’t be anywhere else, except by her side.
“I rock this lady more than I rock my grandchildren. She likes to slip her hand under my shirt to feel my skin. And she still likes to kiss,” he said.
“Every once in awhile she’ll reach up and give me a kiss.”