McGregor Says: Love is more than a valentine

I was sitting in a restaurant having lunch and a lady came in, guiding her walker to the alcove. Maybe she was on the other side of 75, but her smile was quite a few years younger.

As she parked her walker at the base of the stairs the waitress asked her, “Is your friend joining you today?”

“Yes,” she replied, “He should be along shortly.”

She climbed carefully up the six stairs and chose the booth by the window, enjoying the sunshine. Not long after, an elderly gentleman came in, walking slowly with the aid of a cane.

He deftly negotiated the transition from the tile to the carpet and asked the waitress, “Is she here yet?” The waitress acknowledged that she was and he came to the bottom of the stairs.

With one hand on the rail and the other on the cane, he took the steps one at a time and stopped at the top to catch his breath by my booth. He nodded at me and I said, “She’s making you work today; she’s way over on the other side.”

He took his cap off and smiled and replied, “No matter, I’d walk 10 miles to sit beside that lady.”

My heart skipped a beat as he walked towards her, a little more life in his step. There it was, an unabashed declaration of love boldly put out there for all to see.

•••

I was attending a forum on physician-assisted death and the room was full of people waiting to offer or hear opinions on this controversial topic. Many medical professionals and people of Christian values took a turn at the microphone.

Then the moderator called for the next speaker and a man rose and helped his wife to her feet. They walked slowly to the podium and he steadied her in place. “This is my wife of over 50 years,” he began. “She has dementia and she needs me. She is my wife and I need her. No matter the circumstances we have been dealt, we would never consider anyone ending our lives or relationship before the time intended for us.”

The room was silent as they walked slowly but proudly back to their seats.

The applause broke out after the crowd realized the amazing declaration of love they had just witnessed.

•••

The firefighter’s heart rate came slowly back to normal after he realized how close the explosion had come to causing serious injury or death. As the blaze was being brought under control, he walked to the back of the pumper and as he set his helmet on the tailboard he noticed his lady across the closed street standing in the crowd between the parked cars.

He walked toward her and she ducked under the yellow tape and came to meet him.

They embraced but never said a word. She held tight oblivious to the soot and grime from his coat smudging her sweater.

“I have to go back to work. I love you.”

“I know,” she replied. “I love you, too.”

That embrace would hang there, frozen in time, never to be forgotten.

Love is not just candies, cards and flowers. It’s moments and memories and boldness and not caring who is watching or listening when it’s time to dance or kiss or cry or simply say, “I love you.”

Don’t miss that magic moment.  It will last forever. At least that’s what McGregor says.