On the week-end, I was visiting a friend in hospital and arrived just at the end of the rest period. The friend was still asleep, so I made my way to the patients sitting room to wait for a while.
I took a seat on the sofa and opened a magazine which did little to hold my attention. There was an elderly couple sitting together talking. They both sat at the only table in the room, facing each other with their hands resting together on the table between them. He was obviously a patient (being dressed in a flannelet dressing gown and slippers) and she was his wife. I know this because I had seen her arrive at the hospital a few days earlier with his walking frame and as she wheeled it along at a brisk pace, she informed us it was for her husband.
It was impossible to ignore the conversation. She spoke quite loudly and he spoke with a very proper English accent, not unlike what I would expect of an army Colonel. Their shared conversation bought a smile to my face. The first thing that got my attention was his distinct voice saying (without a hint of hesitation) that "the only thing that is keeping me going, is the strength of my love for you my darling". She smiled at him and squeezed his hand and commented about the view.
She continued with her talk of getting older and how, now that she was 84, she had to limit herself to only one visit a day. He agreed wholeheartedly, saying she was not to exhaust herself. "It's not like I'm 80 anymore you know" she replied with another smile and another squeeze of the hand.
"I do love you, my darling" he said later in the conversation and she smiled and they were silent for a moment in each other's company. She did not return his words, but she continued to smile and her face glowed. That their feelings were mutual was without question. They were there for one another and no-one could intrude on their time together.
The above image was created using WORDLE.