A Moment in Time - Captured

It was a Friday night.  I had just ended an extended overtime shift, and the Mother of Five had worked late.  The kids were all out working, at sporting events, or socializing with friends with the exception of #5 of 5, so we took advantage of only have one child and decided to make a run to McDonalds for take-home dinner and a Redbox movie. 

Once we placed our order, the Mother of Five and #5 of 5 headed over to the Redbox to peruse the theatric selections while I took up a position near the counter to watch for our order to be complete.  My position placed me in a vantage point that allowed me to oversee the full extent of the dining area (something I often find myself doing).   

Since it was a Friday night, the lobby was noticeably busy.   There were several groups in the lobby - Groups of teens enjoying themselves in the typical “boisterous” manner, a couple of families with younger children fluttering about in semi-controlled chaos (something I am intimately familiar with), and a number of staff members buzzing about here and there like a drone of worker bees.  It was sort of what I would expect to see on a typical Friday night at McDonalds – with one exception…   

There, in a far corner of the lobby, I noticed a couple.  An elderly couple - preparing to leave.     

They were not just what I would call “elderly”.  If I had to put an estimate on their ages, I would (with confidence) put them well into their 80’s.  As this couple was preparing to leave I noticed the gentleman had put his winter coat on, and was now helping his wife (who appeared to be the noticeably older and much frailer of the two) put on her coat.  (Ok, I am making an assumption on their marital status.)

It’s the typical sort of “chivalrous” move – he held up her jacket by the shoulders from behind her as she daintily (actually, it was more like “frailly”) maneuvered herself backwards into the jacket.  If you looked close enough (as I did) you could see the pain and discomfort this simple act was causing her.  Then, without speaking a word, the man came around and faced the woman.  He gingerly zipped and buttoned up her coat and then carefully wrapped her scarf around her neck to prepare her for the harsh Minnesota weather awaiting them outside. 

This was such a remarkable scene to observe.  The loving care and compassion in his eyes and the complete trust and gratitude in her eyes were simply beyond my ability to describe.   I was nearly hypnotized standing there, just watching the wordless interaction between these two. 

I don’t know if it was out of sadness I felt for this couple in the sunset of their lives, the heart melting warmth I felt for the display of love between these two, or for the much needed reminder that there are still many good people doing small but meaningful acts for one another that caused tears to well in my eyes.  What I do know is that this whole incident (which lasted for only a short moment in time) will remain a moment captured in my memory for much, much longer.  

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