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The Definition of Love


I saw real love while working at a cozy, candle-lit Italian restaurant with great ambiance and really delicious food.

Real love made its appearance every Wednesday night, when at about 6:30 pm or so the heavy wood door would crack open slightly with a bit of a struggle ensuing from the outside.

One of us would run over and hold open the door, as in came our Wednesday regulars, a little old couple who must have been about 80 years old at least if not more.

She would hobble in, slowly and painfully but with a smile on her face, "Hello, good evening to you," and he would stand patiently beside her with a firm guiding arm about her ample waist.

They always took the table closest to the door. He always took as long as was necessary to make extra room for her two bulky walking assistants, the industrial hospital crutches as well as position the three chairs just so under the table. There had to be three chairs, I think one was needed for a leg rest.

When the setup was ready, he'd support her around her middle as she slowly lowered herself into the seat. Then he would quietly take the crutches from her grasp and prop them gently against the dark wood paneled wall. He'd sit down in the chair beside her, then reach beneath the tablecloth to position her legs in a way that was comfortable for her.

After settling in, they'd exchange pleasantries with whoever was waiting on them and then peruse the menu, with smiles upon their wrinkled faces. Whatever they ordered was always a hit with them, and they were always pleasant and never had a complaint, despite the fact that she was likely in pain and he had to readjust his pace to accomodate her. He didn't mind the slowness and the waiting, he was there because it was where he was supposed to be. They were evidently very in love, in the realest sense of the word.

These two were simply happy to be out enjoying another evening together, happy for this good food that would soon fill their bellies in the same way that their love for each other so clearly filled their souls... and filled mine too as I watched them.

Yes, that to me, is a pretty good definition of Love.

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2005