He stood to his feet, taking a moment to find his balance. Then he slid the side door open and pulled out a walker. Oh good, I thought. He needed the extra help. I watched him lean over the walker and begin to shuffle on his way.
But instead of heading toward the mall, he circled around to the other side of the van. He opened the passenger-side door and a woman’s shaky hand reached for his. Then he carefully positioned the walker in front of her.
I’m not sure why, but I found myself fascinated with that couple. I know it sounds silly. I mean, I should’ve jumped out of the van, ran up ahead and held the door for them. Instead, I just watched them. And wondered about their story.
I tried to imagine the man as a nervous young groom – and the woman as a beautiful bride. I pictured them saying their wedding vows. “To have and to hold, from this day forward …” Vows they obviously took seriously. Surely that couple had a lot of history between them. They had persevered through hard times. And celebrated good times. But side-by-side they faced it all.
And now, side-by-side they inched their way through the parking lot.
They paused a moment, maneuvering the walker up a small step onto the sidewalk. Then the old man opened the door for his wife and they disappeared inside.
Sometimes you find something beautiful when you’re not even looking for it. Like the other day at the mall.
And I didn’t even have to go inside to see it.