I was lucky enough to witness the most perfect display of selfless, unconditional love today. A random, but beautiful scene that just played out before me. In a Target store, of all places.
Humble photo captures the purest kind of love
And while I'm pleased that I happened upon this heart-wrenching little interlude, I'm also doubly chuffed that I managed to snap a very nice photo of it, as well. Working in the aged-care industry, it's important to capture the tender moments as they come along, no matter how inconsequential they may seem at the time.
A picture is worth a thousand words, don't they say?
I hope that you, too, will find this delightful pic worthy of being written about.
But first, for those who are not 'in the know', shopping centres on weekdays transform into what can only be described as a Pensioners' Paradise!
Yes indeedy, for while the rest of us are off being dutifully occupied at work and school, teams of opportunistic Seniors get to roam freely in herd-like fashion throughout the malls. Albeit a silver-haired, very slowwww-moving herd, but a herd all the same.
Chatting with other like-minded Old Dears, leisurely leaning on trolleys or pulling those wheeled cart thingamees, they get their errands run unhindered and unflustered. Enjoying the retail experience safely at their own pace and without judgment or pressure from any of us raucous, unruly lot, thankyou very much.
Not to mention packing out the cafes and teashops to the brim when it's time for the proverbial nice hot cuppa. (Cream cake too, if blood sugar meds allow it).
Read more Dollie Dogood here: A letter to 'Tom', the vermin scammer
Fear not, though, for by the time we self-appointed important people all barrel into the supermarkets to hunt and gather for the family din-dins, these older folk are long gone. Back at home, unpacked and unshoed...they've completed their quests and are now poised in recliners, awaiting the next thrilling round of Family Feud.
Yet, here I found myself today, thanks to an unexpected shift cancellation and breaking all of society's sacred unwritten rules... I decided to make an impromptu visit to my local shopping centre.
And as I stood in the toiletries aisle languishing in my new-found mid-morn freedom, deliberating on whether to go the strawberry or the vanilla-flavoured lipgloss (it’s a tough life), I could hear a softly-spoken male voice in the cosmetics section behind me. Upon changing my angle, I saw it was an elderly gent with white hair, standing alongside what was evidently his matching elderly wife in a wheelchair.
With stiff stooped shoulders and her wasted hands laying motionless in her lap, she clearly had serious health problems (I speculated it might be MS, but it was hard to really know). However, that wasn't an issue for this pair who, oblivious to me and my life-threatening chapstick dilemma, were focused on choosing lipsticks.
And even more fortunately for her, I thought - her husband was doing it spectacularly!
“Honey Beige, Melting Melon, Glazed Caramel… what the heck? Some of these colours, Lois… sounds more like food to me. That reminds me, we'll do the groceries after this.”
Lovely sounding hubby was now donning his reading specs in order to read the annoying teeny-tiny writing found on most lippys. A man on a mission and with no shop assistant in sight, he clearly felt at ease in what was typically a woman’s domain. Regardless of her health state, his wife was still a lady and, therefore, there was no reason in the universe why she shouldn't maintain the beauty regimes that meant she could be feminine and ‘normal’.
“Pink Opal… Berry Beauty… Flushed Fuchsia. But they're ALL pink! There's just such a lot to pick from, Lois. And here I was thinking 'pink' was just PINK!”
(In my head I had to agree. Stupid same-coloured lipsticks)
"Good gracious me, darling... I think these naughty-sounding ones might be a bit much!”
(I laughed out loud at this comment, nearly blowing my cover, but managed to change position while edging closer to the action)
“Here, let's try this one, Lois. Forever Precious it’s called… that’s definitely you, my darling. Such a pretty pink.”
As Lois sat motionless, in her purely supervisory capacity, her adoring spouse crouched down before her to apply yet another shade of pink to the back of his wife’s lifeless hand. They'd obviously been at it for a while because the routine seemed superbly synchronised. He would mark her skin for testing, pause to stand back and admire, then discuss yes or no (with himself), before a gentle wipe with the tissue in preparation for the next one.
(OK, yes, by now I was melting on the inside – it was gorgeous to watch).
“This Smoky Pearl one here… that'll match your new pink blouse, Lois. The one we bought for young Bryce’s graduation night. But let’s get the Charming Coral one as well. Just in case, yes?”
Apparently, Lois could speak but it must've been only barely, as he had to lean his ear right into her face to hear.
“Ha ha, yes! Charming - just like me! Ha ha ha… good one, my darling.”
(Brilliant! Lois was being silly too!)
“Here's one...Spiced Coffee. Oh for goodness sake, Lois! How about we have a think about it and go get some ‘spiced coffee’ of our own? There’s a nice café over there; they might have some ‘glazed caramel’ we can chew on too – what fun!”
As they wheeled off out of the store I couldn't see Lois’s face, but I felt sure she would be smiling and thoroughly enjoying herself. Having such a kind, genuinely loving man by her side, helping her choose lipstick, no less.
WHAT MAN DOES THAT?!
And how he spoke to her... the way he interacted with her! Such patience and grace; the undeniable care and commitment he showed his dear disabled wife was truly truly admirable.
In fact, I had no doubt that Lois - in her sad, sick and wheely-bound existence - thanks to this sweet and devoted man... got to smile every single day of her life.