It took her a year after her husbandís passing to muster
the bravery to go to the movies by herself. Itís not that
she was afraid of going on her own. No, it was the terrible
sadness she felt, being forever alone in a world of couples.
Her marriage of fifty years had been emotionally trying.
Despite this, for the last ten years of that marriage, she
steadfastly cared for his needs while his mental and
physical functioning steadily declined from terminal
She was by his side always, seeing to his doctorís
appointments and medications, making sure his shirts were
clean, his hair combed, selflessly and continuously
demanding that others treat him with dignity. All the time
knowing, as she gently kissed him, that whatever was wrong
with their relationship would forever remain. The time for
dialogue had passed. It was simply too late.
When looking back on it all, she is torn by a sense of
betrayal for her only love, for justly remembering his
cruelty and cold-heartedness toward her, and for questioning
why she had put up with it for so long.
For years, she wandered about, trying to imagine what she
had missed while watching couples young and old as they held
hands and laughed together like lovers. It saddened her to
realize that, even in a couple, she had spent much of her
life completely alone.
And now, a year since her long caregiving vigil has
passed, she wanders still. A few hours of television during
the day, coffee shops and diners at night. Always watching
and wondering if it really was her destiny to be forever
alone in a world of couples.