by Erika Townsend
Sometimes strangers can give you more insight into your relationship than your closest companions. I like to think of these chance meetings as whispers from the universe. I have been listening for this kind of grace for awhile now. In my darkest hours, it takes me away from my own thoughts and brings revelation for me to move forward on my path.
Sitting in a doctor’s office clouded with fear and doubt, I met an amazing couple. On this fifth trip to the doctor in a week, I silently grunted under my breath that I was sick of filling out medical forms. A sweet voice said to me, “Be patient.” As I looked over to the woman sitting next to me, I noticed that she had a Zip-Lock bag full of her medication. There must have been at least 15 pill bottles in that plastic sack and I immediately felt humbled. She told me that she had been to the doctor several times as well. She began to ask me about my life and family and only had doting remarks.
She then began to tell me about her life and family. She and her husband had been married 58 years. As she shared her story, her husband would smile and nod in agreement. She told me, “He has always been a quiet man and on rare occasion will you see an angry bone in his body.” He laughed and said, “It takes two fools to argue and I ain’t no fool!” Coming from a background where conflict was the norm, this glimpse into their life provided a different view of my future than I had seen before. Though they obviously had experienced tribulations in their marriage, they always found peaceful resolutions. It was a priority in their marriage that is often missing in today’s unions. In a divorce-laden country, it was refreshing to meet a couple who still blushed talking about meeting as teenagers.
It is so easy to get caught in the trappings of the world. Careers, big houses and fancy cars seem to distort our perceptions of success. But good character can’t be bought. Peace can’t be paid for. Joy does not come with a price tag. Yet if you have these things, money pales in comparison. Though it may go unseen, love is in vast abundance all around you. Sometimes we choose to put on blinders believing that we don’t deserve or will never find love. Sometimes it’s all of the “flashing lights” that blind us with their temporary highs. Love is eternal. If you quiet you mind and open your heart, you will find that has been there all along.