On the train home the other day there was an elderly couple sitting a few rows in front of me. Normally, I try my best to block out the conversations going on around me, but this time I’m happy I listened in.
The elderly couple started up conversation with a few regular commuters, wanting to double check that they were in the right bit of the train to get to Ely. They were American and had come over to England on a sort of honeymoon.
The commuters carried on the conversation (which is rare enough in the first place!), asking where they were visiting and why they’d now decided to go on their honeymoon, to find out that this couple had only been married a year.
The couple were both in their 70s and had met just over a year ago after losing their partners to Alzheimers disease. Quickly, they fell in love and decided to get married, not wanting to waste any of the time they could have left together.
When they spoke with the priest in the lead up to their wedding, the priest said that with over 95 years of marriage between them if there was anything they didn’t already know about marriage, then it probably wasn’t worth knowing.
Both of them had children from their previous relationships, all of whom were now grown up and worried about their parent remarrying so soon after meeting each other. The man recapped what he had told his eldest son; when you get to my age, we’re thinking of the months we might have together, not the years, so why wait?
It was such a lovely story to hear, especially on a Thursday night train ride home late from work. We spend so much time planning for things in the future, looking ahead and missing out on what’s going on in the here and now.
So, I’m going to try to take a leaf out of their book, and make more of an effort to appreciate the life I’m living right now, not the just the one I’m aiming for in the future.