On a recent trip accompanying my husband on a routine medical appointment (at the VA hospital) I engrossed myself in my crochet project as I waited for him. I’m working on squares and helping another stitcher who will assemble lap-gans that will be donated to seniors.
I was unaware of a couple who had arrived for an appointment until I heard a male voice saying “are you making baby boots”. I looked up to see the smiling face of a man in his mid-late 80′s…he had smiley eyes and made it clear he wanted to chat. Next to him was his female companion…she looked about the same age as him. He offered a lot of light comedy lines mostly cracking himself up. “I’m 87, I drove from Yonkers…27 miles it took me 27 minutes at 60 mph” lol.. here was an 87 y/o man driving that far without a second thought! He went on telling me “we’re both WWII Veterans I served in the Navy and returned in coma, head wounds and on the verge of death”. It sounded like the the sad stories of our current returning troops. War is war – just the names of the wars change. Mr M’s face and tone turned sober, he said “you know when you hear the back fire of a car and jump because you get startled?” “Well, I have PTSD…my condition feels 100 times worst then that…you don’t get over that”. He bounced right back into his jokes until the nurse call him in.
I later found out they were not married although I’d made the foolish assumption they were. No… she told me in a tolerant tone “I have heard these same jokes and you know, I have to laugh each time. I cannot believe I’m almost 90…I’m the last of six siblings, I was the youngest my sister died last month, it’s sad…I can’t believe it…where did the time go!? My husband died 19 years ago…he is waiting for me at St Raymond’s”. (cemetery) She sounded like she longed for him then added, I never remarried although I had a lot of boyfriends” as she laughed and winked at me.
I felt touched by this casual meeting. As I walked away felt that our casual meeting was no doubt a God sent blessing.