For the longest time I couldn’t work out the details for the background, until one evening walking back home from work I realised I had this view of the Melbourne Star all the while just outside where I live. It looks even more spectacular in a frosty night when its lights don a psychedelic colour coat. Ah the small things in life.
“Well it’s good news. Your PSA level remains low, which means your prostate cancer is all under control!” I said to the elderly gentleman in front of me. He was nearing ninety years old, but still amazingly mentally sharp. He smiled at me, but blankly. There was just the moment of awkward pause, and then I’m not sure why I asked, in a much less jubilant tone, “How is everything else?”
“Well,” he hesitated for a little. “To tell you the truth, my wife passed away a month ago.”
My heart sank with his. “I’m so sorry to hear that…” And I was. I’m sure it is excruciatingly hard. To lose what has essentially become a part of you. To be living alone again, to go through life with a pair less of eyes. What does it all mean, and how does everything matter now?
“We would have been married for sixty two years end of this year.”
“…You must miss her a lot.”
“Oh,” he gasped, “I miss her every moment,” and his voice trembled at the end.
On the way out I felt like giving this elderly gentleman a hug. I won’t know fully what he was going through, but sometimes I catch a glimpse, or two, I really do think. Some people and too many pop songs say you don’t know what you have until you lose it — but I disagree.
But sixty two years. I haven’t even lived half that long.