It was approximately 8.30 a.m. on a busy morning when an elderly
gentleman in his eighties arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He
stated that he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9.00 a.m. I took his vital signs and had him take a seat. I knew it would
take more than an hour before someone would to be able to attend to him. I saw him
check his watch anxiously for the time and decided to evaluate his wound,
since I was not busy with another patient. On examination, the wound was
well healed. Hence, I talked to one of the nurses to get the supplies to
remove his sutures and redress his wound. We began to engage in a conversation,
while I was taking care of his wound. I asked him if he had another doctor's
appointment later as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me no, and said that
he needed to go to the nursing home to have breakfast with his wife. I inquired about her health. He told me that she had been in the
nursing home for a while as she was a victim of Alzheimer's disease. I probed
further and asked if she would be upset, if he was slightly late. He replied
that she no longer knew who he was, and that she had not been able to recognize him
since five years ago. I asked him in surprise, "And you still go every
morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?"
Then 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 my tears as he left. I had goose bumps on my arm, and
I 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, was
not, will be, and will not ever be...
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