Recently at work one of my girls and I met this wonderful customer named Bev. Seventy-four, she was still kicking on as cheeky as ever and absolutely made my day. She was still 21 on the inside, which is probably why I connected with her so much.
She reminded me of one simple fact: who you choose to spend the rest of your life with is extremely important.
After finalising her sale she stayed for at least another 20 minutes, sharing with us about life with her husband Bill, gone now for 11 years.
She told us about how until the day he could no longer get out of bed, he would race home from work to beat her to the washing line so he could take all the clothes down. Anything to make her life easier.
He would wash the dishes and make her breakfast and tell her she was beautiful.
“I shouldn’t be telling you this,” she leaned in and said, “but sometimes when we we out at the shopping centre he would grab my backside and make me jump.” She giggled. “I screamed and told him, ‘Not in public, Bill! You can’t do that!'”
Bill, in his 60’s, would smirk and say, “You’re my wife and I’ll do what I want!” He’d point to her ring, look around and say, “It’s okay, everyone knows your mine.”
People asked if she was going to get remarried. She can’t believe those people who remarry less than two years later. Eleven years later she still won’t even consider someone else. “He was the only one for me,” she said. “Who in their life ever thinks they’re going to get that lucky? Who could even compare to Bill?”
Eleanor and I were choking back tears (trying not to cry in our workplace) as we listened to one lady tell about her life with one man.
All the little things seem small at the time, but a lifetime of little things lead to a bond so strong that 11 years of separation has done nothing to change.
In his last year, when Bill could see the end coming, he insisted on having a granny flat built out in the backyard for Bev. For after he was gone.
“He couldn’t rest until he’d made sure I was going to be taken care of. I think he was holding on, just making sure. Bill was like that.”
Bev laughed and almost cried as she told us about her memories with such a special man. A man named Bill.
The kind of man we all long for, the kind we should look out for, hold out for.
Ps. On the way out Bev slapped me on the butt as I leaned over to grab something for another customer. When I turned around in shock she was walking out of the shop giggling.
Reminder: you’re only as old as you feel.