There are some things that happen which just beg to be written down, and for me, this is one of them. It is such a simple story really, but one I cannot shake out of my mind.
I was standing in line at the grocery store waiting my turn, when the elderly couple in front of me grabbed my attention. Since my grandparents passed away, this soft place has formed in my heart. I so miss my grandmother's hugs and long to hear my grandfather's voice. But you know how it goes. Time flows past, and though the memory of them remains, there are days where I don't think of them as much. Preoccupied with living, temporarily they fade from view. Until something startles me and it all comes flooding back.
There in the line ahead of me this couple, so apparently reliant on each other, set their items down for purchase. Their clothing was worn, patched and stained, yet comfortable and respectable. His wallet was held together with silver tape, but his money was neatly folded into a shiny gold clip.
The cashier spoke the price of their goods, some $20.87, and the husband slowly placed a $20 bill into the worker's outstretched hand. Here there was a pause as the cashier repeated the total price, followed by a brief moment of confusion as the older man attempted to take it all in. Shakily he unfolded his wallet and tried to count his change.
I felt my eyes well up. Inwardly, I was thinking I'd pay the 87 cents myself before I'd allow them to leave without what they came for. But the gentleman did have the rest of what he owed. Passing another $20 bill across the counter, he received his change and then slowly began putting his money back into the clip. I was content to just stand there and watch.
It didn't matter that it was taking too long or that he could have moved out the way. I didn't care because I was lost in the moment. I remembered my grandfather's face on one visit I made just before he passed, how happy he was to see me. He too had become consumed by age. No longer able to get around like before, we did our best to assist him.
The couple eventually left, she clinging to his arm, and again, I felt the tears come. I am left today with this memory and so many others of my own. There are happy ones and sad ones. I don't know who this couple was, if they have family who care for them or not. I like to think they do. But for me, it is that in this one moment their existence touched mine in the missing I felt for my own.
Suzanne Williams Photography
Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.
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