20 years ago

Twenty years ago, spouse and I were having the usual adjustment difficulties of newlyweds. Squabbling, sniping, maneuvering for power, trying to find agreement – I’m sure you’ve all seen it and had it too.

One day, I saw him do something–and it told me to have faith, that despite his many flaws haha, he has a true heart of gold.

So one evening, he returned from work. And it was a long commute (you know the Beltway and DC), and I was always dissatisfied with how late he’d return home.

This time, he returned home — with an elderly Dominican woman in his car 🤨

Turns out, he’d seen this old woman standing outside a Starbucks, confused, in the dark and cold, with her baggage. She’d just flown in from the Dominican Republic that evening. Her daughter lived in the area, but was maybe late picking her up at the airport.

“I got tired of waiting,” she said. The elderly woman took a cab and set off. She did not have her daughter’s address. She was more than a little senile.

The cab driver had given up on her, and dropped her at the cafe.

I was stressed and irritated about the situation. You just picked this woman up? What are we supposed to do for her? She can’t even give information about her family, her address, anything.

We tried to extract info from her. We were unsuccessful. She had nothing helpful. Maybe she lived in a small town, where just to know the neighborhood’s name was sufficient.

I’m ashamed to say that I was a bit impatient with her.

Spouse was not.

He was gentle, kind, patient. Spoke to her respectfully. Worried for her. “I couldn’t just leave her there.” If she’d been left there that day, she could’ve ended up one of the many unhoused, or dead.

Eventually I said, “Let’s go back to the airport. Perhaps her daughter is still waiting there. Slim chance. Let’s see.”

So we went back to National Airport. I asked the nice people at the Information Desk, and they got the woman to make an announcement using the mic and speaker.


They were reunited. We returned home.

I thought to myself many times afterward: he picked up that random, strange, senile woman, and treated her like a lost treasure. I really don’t know that I would’ve done the same.

And I thought: when I am a random, weird, senile, weak woman, he will treasure me TOO!! So hold on to this one!

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