We have safely arrived in Chicago. I flew from Dallas; Ray from LA. Our friend was right there to pick us up from the airport and has gotten us cozily settled in her home. We are excited by our lack of planned activities so far. As busy as we’ve been over the past while I think we’re both very open to being unbusy for a change.
I sat next to an older couple on the plane. They told me shortly after we had all settled in that they had been married 58 years. I told them that I had a 41-year marriage but sometimes wondered if we’d make it to 42. They both laughed. “We know what you mean.” The woman leaned in and whispered, “Sometimes it seems like the things that used to bother me a little now bother me a lot.” We both chuckled. “Amen, sister,” I said.
As I was watching my movie, I noted that they chatted the entire flight. I also noticed that they each kept one hand placed on the other’s leg. They clearly were very close and enjoyed each other’s company. . They told me they lived in a small town outside of Chicago – 80 miles out – and they had moved there twenty years before to take care of their elderly parents. The woman said, “My dad only made it a year after we moved there, but I’ll never regret making the move to have that time together. After all, what’s more, important than family?” I nodded. “I know what you mean,” I said.
As we were just about to leave the plane, they were discussing where exactly they’d left their car after their trip to see their daughter and her family in Allen, Texas. “The covered parking was $40 a day,” the woman told me. “Our parking cost more than our plane tickets!”
We waved goodbye as we headed off in different directions. I was going to Ray’s gate to wait for his arrival and they were going off to find that expensive parking.
I was struck by how familiar and comfortable I felt with this sweet couple. Their love had made them accessible to each other and also to me. I would say that is the definition of a healthy relationship.
Heading off to sleep now.
Will write again tomorrow.