The other day I sat awhile with two of the older members of my church. They are ‘shut-ins’ now, as a result of ill health; they’re lives confined within the small space of the converted garage in which they live.
We talked about their relationship – the story of how they met, and fell in love, and have been 49 years married. It was a story of enduring, faithful love; of enjoyment of one another, and the on going serving of one another. Their care of each other is very obvious in their current diminished physical state, but their continued enjoyment of each other is also still clear.
They reminded me of another older couple I met in the park soon after moving to Poole. John & Hannah had been married 60 years and were in their late 80’s. I had taken one of my daughters to the café, and they were there having an ice-cream. Hannah had Alzheimer’s and I was deeply touched by way John was caring for her – wiping ice-cream from her face, and saying, “She was always so giving.”
There is something noble, but simple, innocent and tender about couples like these; something so different from our cultural obsession with ‘romance’ and sex. They have looked the vanity of life in the face, and demonstrate the power of genuine love.