I was waiting in a ridiculously long line at the drugstore yesterday, annoyed because I was in a rush and they weren’t calling any back-up cashiers. At the front of the line, I noticed a teenage couple hugging, holding hands, laughing, and basically gazing at each other adoringly.
Watching them, I felt a twinge of wistfulness for the days when I was that young girl being fawned over. Just hours earlier, my husband and I had an argument over something petty, and I was still kind of mad. Married over 20 years, it seemed love looked a lot less like making out at the drugstore and a lot more like coordinating schedules, shuttling kids around, and paying bills.
But then I noticed someone else in that line. Directly behind the teens was an elderly gentleman wearing a cute little cap, who didn’t appear to be a day under 90. He was hunched over, with one hand grasping a cane. His other hand held a single item – a package of Depends underwear. For women.
I smiled at him. I imagined he had a wife at home, maybe someone he’s loved for 60 years, and my heart warmed at the sight of him patiently waiting in that long line just to get her what she needed.
“Not young love,” I thought to myself, “but that right there is TRUE love.”
And then I felt guilty. Because watching him it reminded me that my husband, for all his faults that drive me crazy, is that man. The one who takes care of me when I’m sick. The one I can trust with any secret. The one who always has my back. The one who I know will wait in a long line at the drugstore when he is old and frail to bring me what I need.
Suddenly I was grateful for that line, because it forced me to slow down. To look around me. To think. And to appreciate the gentle reminder that even though love may look a little different when you’re older, it doesn’t mean it’s any less beautiful. ❤️