An Old Lady and Me

Today I met an old lady whose husband died last year.

She showed me old pictures of her and her husband, from when they were recently married until the last days of her husband in the hospital. She was his second wife; his first died about 20 years before they met.

Her voice was soft when she told me about how her family was against their marriage, because of age gap and religion difference between him and her. She was only in her early thirties when she met him, a medical professor in his mid-fifties. She recalled that the professor had liked her so much but he understood that because of differences in age and religion, it would be hard for them, so he offered her his friendship instead.

Long story short, they got married, even though her family disagreed. Her mother cried during the ceremony and two of her sisters didn’t attend the party, but these didn’t make the couple love each other less. They had been together for almost 40 years by the time he died.

She kept smiling while telling me her story; sometimes she paused to have a good look at one picture. She explained each picture, sometimes she forgot so she had to take some time to recall the memory.

In one picture, she had beautiful long hair. It was a picture of her young self. She said that her husband liked her long hair so much, and she had kept it long ever since. The last two years when her husband had been sick and needed to be taken care of, she had been there; feeding, bathing, and keeping him clean, since he didn’t want anyone but her wife to do them for him.

She had patiently done them for him, simply because she loved him very much. She never minded taking care of her practically-disabled husband for the last two years. She told me that she had had a very good husband, he had been very nice to her, he never yelled or raised his voice while talking to her.

Months after he died, she was still deeply mourning for him. She usually cried herself to sleep from missing him so much. She kept a picture of him with her, and she told me that sometimes she felt that her husband was still there, accompanying her living the days.

Recently she went to his grave to clean it up and pray and put some flowers since it’s almost the time for the fasting month. When she told me all these stories, she didn’t cry anymore, but I could see her eyes sparkle when she recalled their memories together, and a peaceful smile was always on her lips.

I am never good at expressing my feelings, so I just stood there, listening to all her stories while sometimes smiling or nodding sympathetically.

After she finished, she then said goodbye to me, saying that she had other business to attend. And there I was, left with warm feelings and wondering how many people were so lucky to have such beautiful love story; a story about love that lasts, even after all the beauty and youth have ceased.


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