Below is something I wrote three years ago....
Just some thoughts:
As I got up to begin our Sunday school class this morning, I turned and met his eyes. They were the eyes of the “sad and lonely.”
A few days earlier he and I had sat in a restaurant and talked. He told me they had been married sixty-six years. I replied, “That’s just a few years shy of my age.” He told me exactly how long she had been gone in days and hours. He had been her caregiver her last months, and often he brought her to class in a wheelchair. About all she could do was smile and nod. I remember he put his hand on my arm and said, “I’d give anything to have her back and still be taking care of her today. I’m so lonely without her. I had a purpose then; now I don’t know.” I’ve thought of him since that day and our time together at the restaurant.
Lonely: most of us don’t really know that word or the feelings that come with “it.” I remember as a young boy my cousin and I spent a week with our grandfather after our grandmother had passed. Even as young boys we could sense to some degree the loss our grandfather was feeling. I also remember after my dad’s passing how for a period of time my mother took on a personality I had never seen before.
That morning as he sat on the back row of the class, I watched him and thought, “You can almost reach out and touch his sadness.”
To take a line from an old country song:
“Never know lonely until it’s chiseled in stone.”
November 7, 2013