I was on my way up the ramp to the movie theatre when Joe poked his head around and indicated for me to back up and go up the other side. Apparently, harumph, someone else in a wheelchair was in the space on that side of the theatre. It was a tight squeeze to back up and turn around but I managed. When I popped up on the other side I looked over to see who was in the spot I was originally headed towards. A woman of about 60 with a lovely blanket over her shoulder and another tucked over her legs sat looking entirely comfortably in her chair.
A few seconds later her husband arrived and fussed around placing snacks on a small tray attached to her chair. Then, and this is what got me, he gave her a peck on the cheek and headed up the stairs to a seat much further back in the theatre. I looked over at Joe, suddenly thankful that he was there seated right beside me. Now I have to admit that we have always sat up front in a theatre so when I started sitting in a chair there wasn't even a discussion about where we were going to sit. We made the adaption without even noticing, in fact until today, I didn't even think about it at all.
But there she sat all alone, tucked into her chair, slowly picking Milk Duds out of a box and slowly savouring them. Alone. All by herself.
Selfish Son of a Bitch! I ranted in my head against him up there in his precious seat where he wanted to sit. "I hope he enjoys the movie," I thought sarcastically to myself. And then, the movie began, inconvieniently ending my pre-movie show.
The movie is simply amazing. I was unprepared for it, entirely unprepared. The movie is at least in part about one half of a couple who has to go on alone after a lifetime of love and companionship. I didn't expect to be crying. I didn't expect to have all sorts of emotions running around on the rollercoaster between brain and heart. The movie is simply a wonderful work of art. Beautiful to see but even more beautiful to experience, to feel.
When it was all over I slipped out and down the ramp quickly, it's narrow and I wanted to be out before I had a line up of people behind me. I waited for Joe just outside the theater and then there they came. The couple from the other side of the theatre. After exiting the door, he fell into place beside her. He took one hand and she steered her chair with the other. They walked along pleasantly chatting with each other, she said something, he laughed and then reached up and wiped tears from his eyes. I knew what they were talking about. I knew what had been said.
I know that disability breaks up some relationships and that strenghtens others. I immediately repented for my quick judgement of how they managed together with each other. I'm glad that they could both go to a movie and both enjoy it. I'm glad they've worked out what works for them. I'm glad she still has him to love. I'm glad he still has her ...
And then Joe came through the door, and my heartrate went UP.