Lucky Witness

I sat behind a married couple in church today who reminded me of how my parents looked together 30 years ago.  He was a balding man in his sixties, neat, dressed in a fitted suit and tie. He wore a gold signet ring on his right hand and wedding ring on the left. His wife, sitting respectfully close was also dressed in a detailed pants suit with jacket. Her hair cut neat, her perfume pleasant like a fresh cut flower. Small gold diamond earrings tucked in her ears, and a matching necklace, her finger spun a little too big gold wedding band set on her left hand. She checked her gold watch as the service began, and tucked it back under her sleeve. They both had silver glasses on with similar frame shapes as though they planned it that way.

Once in a while, the husband would lean over and whisper something in her ear and she would nod her head or cover her mouth in a gesture of “I can’t believe you just said that in church” sort of way. He would then smile and pat her knee. During the service, and during a prayer, her hand would simply join his perfectly, fingers laced gently as though they had practiced since childhood. There minimal movements were beautifully synchronized as though they were dancing. His arm slid behind her protectively and she leaned into him slightly.

While the chapel lighting was as dim as the grayness of the day, the warmth reflected from their years of shared history lit their space. No one else seemed to notice the knowing that passed between them in gestures instead of words. I alone was aware of the mastery of their language.

My parents had their own language of marriage learned from over 50 years together. A slight touch or signal look to one another. It developed from occupying the same space and trusting the safety of that space with one another. Knowing the other is there unconditionally and without a word spoken is a pure gift. I am the lucky witness.


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