Sunday, October 12, 2014

Growing old together, those aches and pains that bind

After my shopping at Whole Foods yesterday, I took the cart to the area where they are kept and was preparing to put it away. In front of me stood a gentleman. In front of him, there was a partially bent over woman appearing to be several years older than me struggling slowly to turn a cart around. She had taken it from the line of carts and was shuffling one inch at a time to make a 180. I gave her big props in my mind for being out there and doing things for herself. 

As I stood with my empty cart, I addressed the gentleman in front of me, "Would you like to have this cart?" He turned to me, swept his arm toward the older woman with the cart and said, "No thank you. I'm waiting for my wife." 

There's not much to that story, but it made me warm and fuzzy inside. He did not say it sarcastically. He did not make a click sound to show annoyance. He did not act rushed or otherwise put out by the waiting. He lovingly referred to his wife as his wife, and smiled. We can all only hope for this type of relationship along with the changes our bodies may make over time.

While I was shopping, I was driven to buy healthy foods to feed my paleo soul. I was annoyed from time to time by rushing shoppers or those other customers who seemed to be bothered by my presence in "their" store. I delighted in grandparents with little ones in their carts. What I wasn't doing was thinking about how others might be struggling just to make it into the store. 

The passage of time, even when we dare to stay fit and eat well, does a number on our bodies. Somewhere around age 60, things change. Muscles and joints don't want to do their thing as efficiently as they once did. In my case, my original knees are long gone. I have highly efficient fake knees that have given me new life. I notice a twinge here and there that wasn't a part of my life at a younger age. Unexplained muscle aches are the norm. But I try not to let them stop me. My husband is the same. Once in a while, his back throws up its middle finger and tells him to hold up. Or maybe his knee will read him the riot act. But we both move a lot and plan on moving a lot more. We help each other out and offer assistance where we can, but we also respect the other's ability to do pretty much anything we want to do, relying on the other to ask for help if they need it.

Which brings me back to yesterday's Whole Foods experience. The husband was respecting his wife's ability to fetch and turn that cart around. He patiently, without reservation, allowed her to do it at her pace. Who cares if it takes a little longer now? They were there together and the love was evident.

I didn't shop with this couple. I did leave the parking lot thinking about them. What more can you ask of a relationship? They were together and yet, they were their own people. 

I did take my good paleo foods home and am fixing a pot of chili today with some of what I bought. It was my husband's choice. 

Grow Old With Me - No attribution for this photo is available. If it's yours, let me know and I'll credit you immediately. 

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