Will anyone ever love me? It’s a question I ask myself often. I’m not talking about the family/friend kind of love. I’m talking about the mushy, gushy fall in love kind.
The kind where a guy makes a total fool of himself because he thinks you’re more beautiful than anyone he’s ever met and so he gets speechless or tongue tied or exceptionally clumsy around you. The kind where he just wants to be with you—ALL the time, ALL his life. That’s the kind I’m talking about here: forever and always love. Where you’d rather die than live without them.
I used to read romance novels ALL the time. Love stories made my heart soar. But what I cherish even more now are the real stories. The 75 year old gentleman with the crooked back who still opens the car door for his high school sweetheart. The couple that just celebrated their 60th anniversary but still hold hands all the time like they’re newlyweds. It’s the young dad who takes the crying baby out of the sanctuary Sunday morning so his honey can sit and relax for a second. I love to see real love in action. And I can’t wait until one day I’m that elderly lady clinging to my husband’s arm.
I volunteer at a nursing home a couple Saturdays a month. The residents I assist have alzheimers. I have begun to form a connection with some of them. I’m sure the staff there sees the handful of teenagers and thinks we’re blessing the residents when we play bingo. But it’s quite the opposite actually.
Sure I have to remind the lady in the purple sweater to use the bingo chips and not her food to mark the numbers. Sure I have to help the elderly gentlemen as each number is called because his brain confuses what each number looks like. Sure I have to be patient when one of the ladies tries to talk to me but her words slur together and she forgets what she’s saying. But I always walk away feeling so blessed to have been there and to have gotten to spend time with them.
This last time I visited, my family came with some of our friends from church. One of my friends asked one of my favorite ladies what was her Christmas wish. This lady often didn’t seem to be there mentally when we played bingo. She would parrot whatever someone said. Over and over again. She was adorably sweet but you could tell that alzheimers was slowly wearing her down, she was fading away. But this question…oh I cried when I heard her answer: “My christmas wish is that my husband would come back to me from heaven so that we could live happily ever after.” Tears came to her eyes at the same time they came to mine.
This was the kind of love that brought her back to reality. Her husband was so deeply rooted in her heart that it seemed that not even alzheimers would cause her to forget him. She couldn’t remember my name but his…she would never forget. This is the kind of love that I dare only dream of one day having. The kind that doesn’t die with death or disease. The kind that lasts forever.