Tuesday, 29 January 2008


"In sickness and in health, until death doth parts us"
Mr. and Mrs. L are the pharmacy's regular customers. They nearly always come to the pharmacy together. They stand patiently at the counter whilst I get their medications ready. They would make small talk whilst waiting, the kind that husbands and wives make after being together for a very long time, yet are still very fond of each other. When I go to the counter with their medications, Mr. L signs the scripts and tells Mrs. L to pay for the medications. Mrs. L exclaims in feigned indignation, "Pay with my money? You give me money only to take it away from me?" She proceeds to tell me sotto voce, "That's to make sure that I won't leave him" and she smiles. I then jokingly reply, "Who does the cooking?". Mrs. L says, "I do! I do everything and he does nothing!", to which Mr. L affirms, "I do nothing". They carry on their bantering all the way to the door.
Mr. L, on one occasion of him coming to the pharmacy without Mrs. L, told me that Mrs. L had a bad back. "Goodness knows she has a bad back, with me as her burden all these years, but don't tell her that."
Mr. C is by Mrs. C's bedside every day. She is a shell of her former self, sleeping most the time due to the pain medications given to her. She can no longer talk nor walk from weakness, her eyes lighting up when she has visitors, her eyes the windows of communication when speech fails her. Mr. C sits and watches over her, his love for her is silent but strong, stated not in words but in actions.
They know better than others the meaning of love, love that transcends mere words. I am moved to awe and tears. I hope to begin to understand, if only a fraction at a time, what love is all about.

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