If you can't make it better you can laugh at it. ~Erma Bombeck


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Truly Unconditional - A Love Story

With the flu running rampant in town, I was not surprised to find the doctor's waiting area over-full. As I stood for a moment by the front desk waiting for a seat to clear I had the opportunity to do my favorite thing: watch people. Scanning the back of the room I saw an eager face grinning and nodding at me. When we made eye contact her eyes lit up like sparklers on the Fourth of July and she motioned for me to come sit next to her.

As soon as I sat down she opened the coloring book she was working in to a new page and offered to let me color with her. The elderly man sitting next to her said gently, "Sally, lets not bother the nice lady, okay Honey?" I assured him that I was honored to be allowed to share in the fun.

"I like kitties best," she said as she thoughtfully eyed the box full of crayons on the table in front of her. "What's your favorite color? I like purple best."

"That's really neat, Sally," I said, "because that's MY favorite color, too!"

Sally already had the purple crayon in her hand, poised to tint the flowers on her page. She only hesitated a second before she handed it to me.

"You can go first." she said as she patted my hand, and for the next while we colored and giggled as only little girls do.

Sally and I finished one set of pages and were about to start another when the nurse came out and called her name. With loving patience the kind old gentleman helped her gather up her crayons, books, and sweater while the nurse waited for him to escort his wife of 63 years into the exam room.

"To love a person is to learn the song that is in their heart, and to sing it to them when they have forgotten." - Anonymous

Photo courtesy of www.dhs.ri.gov I wish I'd thought to take a picture of the real couple.


  1. Ah, man, Damama, you brought tears to my eyes. How sweet of all of you.

  2. Lovely post. I'm happy to find your blog and looking forward to looking around it.XD

  3. Oh god! So cute. I always love when I bump into adorable little kids who are very social. In August, I had the pleasure of meeting a very adorable little girl who was more than happy to tell me about how excited she was that her dad was coming home from Iraq for her 5th birthday! I loved it!

  4. I love to people watch too.

  5. Oh goodness, that post instantly made my eyes sting and tears escape.

    What a lovely thing you did in participating in this woman's 'childhood' world.

    Clearly, her husband absolutely loves her unconditionally and is now taking care of her as her dementia has kicked in.

    I am a RN and have worked with lots of patients who have dementia and it is heartbreaking. To witness the loss of all dignity these beautiful people suffer through, is heatbreaking.

    May all those suffering from this terrible illness be set free when their time comes to enter heaven.

  6. Margie - She was the sweetest little lady. And she had this big pink bow with long ribbons that kept falling in her face and she'd giggle every time she had to blow them out of her eyes. I couldn't help but fall in love with her!
    JB - Glad you decided to stick around.
    Rook - Little kids can be so precious. And this 80-something year-old woman was every bit the most precious child I'd seen in ages.
    Amy - You should go read some of my other out-takes posts. The stories from the airport are hilarious!
    Tanya - If I have to lose my mind for real at some point in my life, I think it would be a blessing to go as a child.

    Why does it not surprise me that you became an RN. With all you've survived it makes perfect sense that you'd want to do your part in helping others. Your mother would be very proud of you.


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