As I walked up to a nursing home this afternoon, I noticed a frail old man sitting on a bench outside. He was tall and thin and appeared to be at least 80. He was leaning over a bit, holding something to the tip of his nose. I thought it was sad that he couldn’t see any better and had to read like that. As I got closer, I saw that he was holding a worn 3 x 5 photo of him and his wife from at least 10 years earlier.
He didn’t just glance at the photo and tuck it back into his pocket. He looked long, hard and lovingly at the face that he saw every morning for most of his life. As I opened the door, he slid the picture slowly into his left shirt pocket and stared out into the distance. I felt like I witnessed something so intimate but so powerful. I felt intrusive just to be there but so grateful that I was.