My dad and I got our haircuts this morning, and while waiting for my dad to finish, a very friendly old man sat next to me and started making conversation. I didn’t really want to talk, but out of courtesy I indulged him.
his name was Richard, the same name as my dad, and he lived nearby. he’s been living by himself for 11 months now, because unfortunately his wife’s alzheimer’s disease got too serious and she needed to move into a nursing home. he says he’s been very lonely, and he’s taken up gardening to keep himself busy. when he told me this, I kind of understood why he was so talkative, even to a stranger like me. Can you imagine how hard it must be to have the woman you’ve loved for most of your life simply not remember you? that all the shared memories built together for years are now only there for just one of them to reminisce? there must be such an emptiness in his life now, and my heart goes out to him.
i wonder if i would be able to handle something like that, like if my wife started to suffer from some debilitating illness like alzheimer’s or even some kind of cancer. obviously it would test the marriage and my committment to her.. “in sickness and in health,” right? i’m pretty confident though that if shit hit the fan like that, i’d find the strength somewhere. after all, God has proven himself in my life to be a fantastic provider of such mettle. Richard seems to be doing well, i suppose. i introduced him to my dad (who’s experimenting with hydroponics currently), and they exchanged numbers and everything. it’s pretty crazy how you can randomly meet somebody and have the experiences they choose to share with you completely rock your perspectives on life. you can bet that i’m truly grateful to meet such a sweet old man like him, and i’ll remember his transparency fondly. it’s such a shame what happened to his wife, seriously. the pain in his voice was so palpable, and i pray things get easier for him someday, how vastly unlikely that may seem.