This weekend on the beach I was witness to something..It was the most touching thing I have seen in along time.
We, as a family, were walking along, doing our usual Sunday beach walk I talk about all the time here.
In the distance, I could see a car pull up, a few people get out, the trunk opens and they start taking out different things. The one thing I notice is a wheel chair, the next a walker. The people in the car, who looked like all women from where we were, stood around for a minute- talking and assessing the area. Now I am thinking that this is curious, so me..being the people watching person I am..well, I'm keeping a real good eye on these ladies.
They soon open the driver side passenger door, slowly, but with huge intent he emerges.
White hair, whiter skin -with nice broad shoulders. So this is what its all about, I say to myself. His wife, who looks like shes been doing this for a while, helps him to his wheelchair, only he wont sit. He wants his walker. With the wind of a thousand sailors who have gone before him at his back, he starts his march. Its a march of a million miles for him, as he shuffles down toward the water. I am glued to the situation. As we get closer he sits in his wheelchair, exhausted. The wheelchair clearly will not make it. The three of them start pulling the tired soul back to the car, not even 30 feet from the water.
Steve and I have been watching this unfold as we are walking. So close.. and yet sooooo far. This is when I start the chattering..."We.." I start.. "I know" he says, that man holding my hand. We, you..lets.. go see if we can just sit him on the back of the trucks tailgate or something and take him those last few feet, so he can get closer. Without hesitation, we agree and head over to the car they arrived in. Quickly, because they are unlocking the car and getting ready to load him up.
"Hi!" we say, as we throw ourselves into their world. "Could we help you get him down to the water? We can see he'd really like to go."
"No, he's already just worn himself out, honey." his wife says to us. "We've just made the 4 hour drive to get here. I really need to let him rest and we will try again tomorrow. We are staying at the naval resort up on the cliff here."
I look over to him, as his daughters are loading him back into the little car. For one minute he looks our way and I see the beautiful watery blue eyes of a few men I have known, my grandfathers, my father in law. He got in and just sat. Exhausted. Looking at the sea, not saying a word to anyone.
I told his wife she could drive right down to the shore so he wont have such a distance to get him down there, and if they needed any help that the front desk could probably arrange for a few nice men to assist them. For some reason, I bet this is a request often asked of them.
Ill get him there, honey. She said to us. I knew she would. A nice smile came over her, and she dearly thanked us for trying to help and then she was off. Arranging his blanket on his lap, a little peck on the cheek, before closing his door, then the trunk.
We turned and walked away and I could feel the lump in my throat grow bigger and bigger. My eyes not being able to hold back the tears. "oh, honey" my man says, rubbing my back. " She'll do it."
Our children come back into the picture, running, with their sticks and sand flying. I'm immediately brought back to this place of jubilant laughter and giggling children.
"Whats wrong, Mom?" Ryan asks.
Steve just answers..your moms just got a soft heart, son.
It was one of the most touching things I have ever seen. That woman and her Husband. What we will do for each other...for love.
Maybe today they didn't make it, but..She will get him there.. one way or another.. I'm sure of it.
God bless you sweet husband and wife.