Mary and I are in the elevator in the senior high-rise we’re learning to call home. We’re having trouble adjusting to this place. It’s so different from the home we knew. At this moment, we’re witnessing the mayhem of octogenarians jousting with their walkers and wheelchairs. Mary can see the chaos; I can only hear the sound of metal striking metal, the occasional “Ouch! Watch it!”
Mary and I are leaning against the back wall of the elevator. And Mary is leaning against me because her cancer is sapping her strength. Now Mary lays her head on my shoulder and says, “It’s all right…Jeff is here and that makes it all right.” And she says this aloud but not loudly, just loud enough for other sounds to stop. And I put my arm around Mary and hold her to me.
We stand at the back of the elevator. And I think, “This is it. This is what it is all about.” To be honored by one whom I honor, for whom I strive to be a better man. And as much as I love and am loved by one special person, I have this leap, this knowledge how I can make that difference, right here, right now. One stop at a time, each rider trundles off. And to each, I say, “Have a pleasant day.” And some pause, then wish us the same. Not all, but some.
And now it’s just Mary and me. We lean against the back wall of the elevator. Mary leans against me. Her head is on my shoulder. My arm is around her. And we know this moment, this time together, won’t last. But right here, right now, it’s all right.
“Romeo and Juliet” by Dire Straits, from the album, “Making Movies”
“Poppy Red” by Richard Thompson, from the album, “Sweet Warrior”
“A Rum Tale “ by Procol Harum, from the album, “Grand Hotel”
“Don’t Forget to Dance” by The Kinks, from the album, “Come Dancing”