I walked into the dentist’s office today and noticed an elderly man sitting in the waiting room chair. He was friendly and struck up a conversation with me. We briefly chatted, and a few minutes later, he got up and went to the front desk and asked, “How is my Janice doing?”

I smiled. I thought to myself, Oh boy, this is really going to hit me in the feels. He’s waiting for his wife. My husband sent me solo on what feels like sheep to slaughter to get some dental work done and this man is checking in on his wife a few rooms over. He is anxiously waiting to see her face again. 

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He went back to her room to cheer her on and returned to his seat in the lobby. When she was all done, the door opened and he stood up to walk her out to schedule their next appointment. He handed her her glasses and handbag. He wrote down their follow-up as he kissed her on the forehead with his hand on her back. He told her how proud he was of her and that he would take her to Outback Steakhouse for dinner (her favorite place).

My heart was about to explode as he walked her to their car.

I could see out the windowhe opened her door and helped her into the seat. How pure was this love, right? I felt honored just to be in their presence. 

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I looked away, certain they were on their merry way, and he came back in. He asked for the dentist and questioned if she could eat, what she could eat, and if there was anything he could do for her. 

I’m sure I looked ridiculous with my giant stupid grin admiring how heartwarming this was. But I couldn’t contain myself. It was too lovely. 

My anxiety for my dental procedure was gone. I was overwhelmed by how precious this moment was. 

I want a love like that, I thought.

I want a love with 50 years under our belt. I want a love that has a special booth at our favorite restaurant. I want a love where our day is slow-paced and we’re really present with one another. I want a love that has wisdom to share. I want a love that makes strangers believe in forever. 

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I’m growing old with my husband now, and all I have to say is I hope we get a love like what I witnessed today. I want a lifetime love. There’s a lot to be said about couples who have been together for half a century. There’s so much to learn, and in those few minutes in a dentist’s office, I learned how much companionship really means. How much heart is in being supportive, and how the little things keep love flourishing.

Jennifer Bailey

Stay at home mom enjoying one little boy and navigating parenting one trip to Target at a time.