older lady for blog


sweet and bittersweet

as i sat in the restaurant looking out the window, i saw them pull into a parking spot.  he, large, burly and friendly looking, hops out of the driver’s side and walks around to the passenger side to open the door. she, tiny, white headed and stooped over from age, slowly begins to maneuver out of the vehicle with his help.  he gently guides her arm and helps her.  as they walk, very slowly… his steps matching her tiny steps, into the building, they are holding hands as a small boy would hold his mother’s hand. it made me smile in my heart.

they enter the restaurant and decide to sit near us where we had been alone, in the atrium.  i hear him gently scold the woman,  “stand up straight”.  as she slowly moved toward the booth and began to get situated he guided her tenderly, by her elbow.  she is trying to be seated and i hear him say, “be sure to get you whole tookus seated…hahaha… not just half your tookus.”

the woman was obviously in her late 80s, perhaps 90s. the man, was in his 50s.  he appeared to be very kind and possibly italian.  she was frail, snow headed, bent over, and obviously had genetically the same nose as the man, just smaller.  

i wondered to myself.. is this his mother or perhaps grandmother?  

i hear him trying to help her decide what to order.  mother, how about a shepherd’s pie?  you like that.  ahhhh… it IS his mother.  i can’t hear much of what mother says, but she is very happy.  why not? her son has taken her to lunch.   they place their order and yes, he ordered her the shepherd’s pie.  

we are eating our meal and enjoying the day and once in a while i glance in their direction.  he so lovingly speaks to his mother and treats her like a china doll.  i see him get up from his seat across from her and move close to her.  he puts a sweater around her shoulders with so much loving care, gingerly arranging it “just so”,  that i began to weep.   it was so sweet and yet bittersweet.  

i told my husband, who was my lunch partner, that i had bitten my tongue, so that was why my eyes were watering so much.  i simply could not explain the love and tenderness, (and really privileged) i felt watching this private moment with mother and son.  

each time i glanced at them, he was speaking to her in the sweetest manner with his big man voice.  he treated her like the most delicate flower and made sure her every want and need was met. he had the utmost respect and love for her, his mother. 

i reflected in my mind to my own son… and i wondered if, i were 80 and frail and he was 57 and big and burly (like he is now) if he would care about what i wanted to eat or if i was cold, would he put a sweater around my shoulders? would he hold my hand like he did when he was a little boy?

and somehow, it made me sad to think about.  it was sweet to watch this couple interact but sad to think of myself in the same situation….

it was sweet and bittersweet. 

it reminded me of this book: