It was a busy morning, about 8:30,
when an elderly gentleman in his 80’s arrived
to have stitches removed from his thumb.
He said he was in a hurry as he
had an appointment at 9:00 am.
I took his vital signs and had him take a seat,
knowing it would be over an hour before
someone would to able to see him.
I saw him looking at his watch and
decided, since I was not busy with
another patient, I would evaluate
his wound. On exam, it was
well healed, so I talked to one of the
doctors, got the needed supplies to
remove his sutures and redress his wound.
While taking care of his wound, I asked him if he
had another doctor’s appointment this morning,
as he was in such a hurry.
The gentleman told me no, that he needed
to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast
with his wife. I enquired as to her health.
He told me that she had been there for a while
and that she was a victim of Alzheimer’s Disease.
As we talked, I asked if she would be
upset if he was a bit late.
He replied that she no longer knew who he was,
that she had not recognized him in
five years now.
I was surprised, and asked him, ‘And you still
go every morning, even though she
doesn’t know who you are?’
He smiled as he patted my hand and said,
She doesn’t know me, but I still know who she is.’
I had to hold back tears as he left, I had
goose bumps on my arm, and thought,
‘That is the kind of love I want in my life.’
True love is neither physical, nor romantic.
True love is an acceptance of all that is,
has been, will be, and will not be.