Carl and Arlenen are a cute old couple that sit in front of my wife and I every week at church. They serve as a sort of placeholder for us– we always know “our row” because Carl and Arlene are there, plenty early, in the way elderly people often are. A couple of months ago I dedided that five years was enough time to muster the courage to actually talk to the people who always sit in front of us.
**Side note– have you ever seen the front of someone’s head, i.e. their face, and it didn’t look like what you thought it would after memorizing the top and back of their head?**
Arlene recently had knee replacement surgery (at age 76) and has just started getting back to church. She moves a bit more slowly and doesn’t like to have to fight the crowd, but she has started coming back. In talking with me a couple of weeks ago, she mentioned how lucky they are that she is now able to drive. At age 77, Carl has started his first round of chemotherapy for a rare, but aggressive leukemia that doctors are treating with equal aggression. Lucky??? I can’t imagine having that perspective when life gets that tough… from knee replacements to cancer.
I was amazed at Arlene’s perspective. They face difficult decisions in the coming weeks and months. My difficult decisions consist of choosing between Chick-Fil-A or Backyard Burger before church. Another tough decision I face… move from a great job in a great town with great friends and a great church, to CO (my home) with great opportunities, great weather and family. The “difficult” choices I face are much different than theirs.
Her upbeat spirit put much needed perspective in my world.