This past weekend, Mr. Eaglin and I went to Catalina Island. We explored the Island every day, all day. On our last morning on the Island, we walked over to Descanso beach.
On our walk over we saw this elderly couple up ahead. They walked very slow and the gentleman held his wife’s hand and urged her along. They stopped several times so that she could take a break and lean up against the railing. As we passed them, I said: “Good morning! It’s a beautiful day to be alive isn’t it?” They both smiled and replied yes.
I’m not sure why they walked over to the beach, it was a long way for me to walk, being 6 months pregnant and all and I can’t help but think it was a long way for the elderly woman to walk as well. Along the way, he pointed and showed her things. I sat and watched them, imagining what he was saying and what they were going to do for the rest of the day. They did walk down to the beach where the gentleman found a bench on the sand and led the way, holding her and guiding her along and helping her sit down. They sat there, for quite a while. Watching the waves crash on the rocky shore and the boats pass by.
Seeing this couple stirred up so many emotions in me about my relationship with my husband. I pondered about the possibility that Mr. Eaglin and I too would one day be that elderly couple walking along the Catalina Island shore. I wondered if he would have to help me at that age, guiding the way and allowing me to lean on him. I wondered if he would have the patience for that.
Then I stopped thinking about our relationship and I started wondering about the elderly couple. I pondered what they were like when they were our age and if they knew what was up ahead for them. The failing health, the lack of strength the need for help. I concluded that, that is precisely what love is. The commitment and the faith in the relationship and the person you married to take care of you, to stand by you and to support you for the rest of your life.
Perhaps that trip down the shore on Catalina Island would be the elderly woman’s last hurrah. Last chance to see the waves crashing on the rocky beach. Last long walk breathing in the fresh sea air. I felt honored to have witnessed it. I felt honored to have had the chance to say good morning and remark that it was a beautiful day to be alive. Because it was.
It was a beautiful day to be alive.