Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Listening

I wonder why certain colors are chosen for certain offices. Have you noticed the minty green, some form of tanish-yellow, and the various hues of gray that adorn most medical offices? It makes Girl crazy. She wants to know if there is a law or something.

And while the colors seldom change, the furniture certainly has. Remember the good ol' days of uncomfortable, hard plastic chairs? Not anymore my friend. Now you can lounge on a sofa, poor yourself onto a love seat, or drape your sick and weary bones onto a comfy arm chair. Times, they have changed.

The wait, however, has not.

We knew that Beloved's stress test would take anywhere from two to four hours. I went along, just for the fun of it. We were the first ones in the office and I staked out my comfy chair, right in the corner (no sharing chair arms for me!) and realized I'd forgotten my book. Sigh.

Instead, I read Sunset cover to cover. Did you know you can GROW your own saffron? Yeah, that spice that costs $1000 an ounce (okay, it's not really!) can be grown in your very own yard. Planting time is in the fall. You can visit White Flower Farms and purchase 25 of these beautiful plants for around $18.00. All things considered, that's a great price!

Anyway, as Beloved bounced between his tests and the waiting room, my eyes grew heavy. Yawn. The chair was too comfortable and I didn't have anything to do. The room had started filling up around 9:00 and I noted that I was the youngest one in the room. The other guests noted it too. They looked at me quizzically. When Beloved returned (again) to the waiting room this fellow struck up a conversation.



Yes, I know I took a cell phone pic and am posting it without this gentleman's permission. I was BORED, okay? Note the yellow walls in the background.

This talkative fellow served in WWII. He sailed through the Straights of Gibraltar on one of sixty vessels. He chuckled and said he'd never seen so many planes in the air in his life because both the American and British air force flew right over those ships. It was an amazing sight.

He spent months in Marseille, where ironically, his grandfather had fled from as a young man because of war.

In a matter of moments we learned that he'd met his wife at the Grange Hall in Oregon City, where both their farming families were members. She was twelve, he was fourteen. They married the day after he turned twenty-one, because he'd promised his mother that he wouldn't marry until then.

Next weekend will be their sixty-third wedding anniversary. Cool huh?

When Beloved was called back to complete his test another couple entered the waiting room and sat down across from our new friend. I noted that gentlman wore a WWII Navy Veteran cap. I knew it wouldn't be long...



The gentlemen swaped war stories, the one was a wee bit hard of hearing and his sweet wife often repeated things for him. She held his hand, patted his knee, and looked at him in such an adoring way. She proudly told us that her husband was eighty-three and she was eighty-one. They've been married for sixty-five years this spring.

As I sat and listened to these fine folks, I couldn't help but note that Beloved and I are half their age, yet here we all were in the same room, waiting for the same tests. They had lived and loved for so many years. They served. They raised their families. They paid their taxes.

I wondered, was it worth it? All the heartbreak that accompanies life. The hard times. The angry times.

Then out of the blue, the first gentleman said, "It's been a good life."

And I smiled.

3 comments:

Amber said...

Oh! That was so good it made me tear up! I think you and Chris will make a sweet, loving elderly couple many, many years from now!

Island Rider said...

Sweet!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Oh, I love this story! (Sometimes it's good to forget your book.) Thanks. :)

Blessings,
Susan