May 18, 2014
Hugh and Carolyn
Today I had the pleasure of meeting an endearing couple. It all started because of a cup of coffee. “ I’d like a sugar free mocha please”. I stepped aside and waited for my order to be called. A kind eyed gentleman standing in the waiting area motioned for me to step in front of him stating my drink was going to be ready before his. That was enough to get a conversation started.
After complementing me on my outfit and color coordination his “friend” walked up. He said, “Carolyn, look at her outfit. She’s got on all your favorite colors”. Sure enough, she liked the outfit too. Had I had an extra change of clothes in my carryon bag, I would have gone and changed so that I could give her the clothes she admired. “Where are you headed?” he asked, “Ketchikan” I replied. At that instant, they turned and looked at each other with admiration in their eyes, big smiles on their faces and embraced.
While I stood there in an awkward moment he turned and stated, “that’s where we met”. They informed me back in 1957, after a short discussion of the exact year, in their mid-20’s they had met in Ketchikan before Alaska was an official state. They were each married to other people and became lifelong friends, both interacting and celebrating milestones together. Now, he in his 80’s and her at 79 (yesterday as a matter of fact), they have re-connected.
Over the last 50 years they have been able to stay good friends, corresponding through mail, a lost art at that, and celebrating each other’s birthdays. After they each lost their spouses (her husband 2 years ago and his wife passed in July 2013), it was time to connect once again, this time face to face. Hugh called up Carolyn and asked if she would mind him coming to visit, she stated she had a conference in Las Vegas and he could join her there if he wanted. Without hesitation he began planning his trip from the San Jose area to see her.
In my discussion with this couple, it was evident how much love they have for one another. It was something about the way they looked at each other, their gentile touches, fondness in memories shared, not to mention the fact they had constant smiles on their faces and their eyes sparkled when they looked at each other. At one point, it even brought me to tears. I quickly pulled out a business card to hand to each of them and let them know if they were ever in my neck of the woods, I would love to treat them to dinner. We hugged and headed our own way to catch our flights.
I think Love is an amazing thing. It comes in all shapes and sizes, colors and containers. It doesn’t have to meet a certain criteria, a pattern, or age, it just happens. This couple was as in love as teenagers and it was evidenced in their every cherished moment.