Day Three – More coasters
Day Three of our Road Trip was the final day of theme park madness. I have to say I reached my limit for this kind of fun fairly early in the day. Being a Tuesday though, there really weren’t any lines so A started the day with the biggest coaster in the park (that she hadn’t gotten to ride the day before) and she rode it five times without getting off. After the fifth go round she got off, got me, and I rode it with her for number six. We went one more time to make her total on the Goliath seven times. We pretty much continued like that for most of the morning. There weren’t any lines, so A was able to ride multiple times every time. A summer thunderstorm shut us down for a while, and after that, and a few more rides, I was beyond grateful when around 5:00 A said she’d had enough. The heat, humidity, stench of B.O., crying children, and grumpy parents were all finally enough. Thank goodness. The park closed at nine that night and I don’t think I could have held on that long. Did I mention it was hot??
We went to eat that night and witnessed something that had A in tears as we tried to put it in perspective and see the good in it.
Sitting right by us was a very elderly couple. They didn’t talk much as they ate, and when he reached over to put butter on her bread she yelled at him. He cursed under his breath and went back to his dinner. We kind of smiled at this, thinking nothing more of it than they had probably been together many years and were picking at one another. However, when they went to leave, he, who was very unsteady himself, was trying to help her up and get her situated on her walker. I knew he was telling her something, but his voice was low. As he talked she started getting louder, insisting she had won a prize and they told her she could take it with her. He was in front of her, trying to explain to her that it was not a prize, no one told her to take it, and if she did she would be stealing. His voice was quiet and calm, and we saw that what she was clinging to was the restaurant’s dessert menu.
She became increasingly agitated, her voice growing very loud as he continued to try to reason with her. A was trying not to cry as she realized what was truly happening. Then the lady screamed at the top of her lungs at the man, and told him they told her to take it – and she slapped him. Hard. He was silent a moment before he said, “Please, honey, you just can’t take things.” She insisted they told her it was hers. He sighed and tried to help her to her feet and they shuffled off, her clinging desperately to her prize. He’d left his cane, so A ran after them. When she got back she sat down, looked at her food and said she thought she was done.
I told her to think of it this way – true love was seeing your spouse through the worst of times and loving her even though she wasn’t really her anymore – and being gentle even when she was violent. Maybe they’d had a lot of good years and a whole lifetime of memories – but this was part of it too. This was life.
She thought a moment and said she doubted she would ever find that kind of love; someone who would love her like that. I told her to strive instead to BE that kind of love.
Watching her later that night playing in the pool at the motel with some kids, I already know what kind of person she is. I already know she IS that kind of love. No doubt.
I’m going to end this one right here. Tomorrow I will write about our adventures in the Talladega National Forest, as well as a pretty cool museum full of weapons and spy gear. And a few interesting surprises. The really great stories are coming up – so stay tuned!