Frances and Frank lived next door to one another several years without meeting one another.
One day, they found themselves sitting next to one another.
They struck up an conversation that might have appeared odd to others.
But this conversation resulted in them wanting to see and speak to one another again.
Even at that point, they did not know they lived next door to each other.
They had no reason to suspect it, and as their lives flowed like clockwork.
Frances and Frank didn’t bother looking for an explanation as to how they met one another.
They both knew in time, they would meet one another again.
They did meet one another again, much sooner than either had expected.
At dinner that very evening, in fact.
They talked until it was time to retire for the evening.
Both happened to be my patients, so I listened to each glowing report about the other.
Then, I acted.
I arranged another meeting, after informing both that they lived right next door to one another.
Both smiled a secretive little smile at that.
Being no stranger to attraction myself, I knew what that smile meant.
I smiled inwardly, lest it be discovered I was in on the secret.
After that, an glorious love affair resulted.
Frances was a professor before her retirement.
Frank had been something of a soccer star abroad.
Both were intimidatingly intelligent.
But their kindness and courtesy blunted the edge of that fierce intelligence.
I watched their faces alight every single time they watched one another.
I was there the first time they held hands.
For months, Frank courted Frances.
The changes in both were incredible.
Each had, before meeting one another.
Tended more towards isolation.
Not out of depression or disrespect for anyone around them.
Simply because they were free to enjoy their lives as they saw fit.
Many a time I had knocked on their respective doors, and receiving no reply.
Tiptoed in to place a comfortable pillow under their sleeping heads.
They never knew I did it.
But those short cat naps were to be a thing of the past as their courting proceeded.
Frances got her hair done much more frequently than before.
Frank fussed at me to make certain his beard and mustache were trimmed just so.
Both had found something they needed in one another.
Their families, while wonderful, kindhearted, and affectionate people.
Lived rather far away, though they kept in touch often by phone.
As their first year anniversary of meeting one another approached.
I was made aware that a big question was going to be asked of Frances, and soon.
Sadly, I was not there when the proposal was made.
But my heart gladdened when I saw Frances’ smiling face.
Frank tried to be stern, but the most beautiful smile wreathed his features when I gently teased him about his impending “fate.”
Wedding plans were made.
Family flew in to attend the wedding, and to the delight of all involved, everyone got along.
Beaming with pride, Frances became Frank’s beloved bride.
It was shortly thereafter, on a night shift I was not working.
That one of the colleagues I was due to relieve for the morning shift gave me a eye opening report.
She had entered Franks room to find Frances bent over in a most unusual position.
I suppose it goes without saying that Frank was behind her.
She quickly exited the scene, hand covering wide grin on her face.
Happily married life includes intimacy.
We were glad that Frances was sneaking into Frank’s room at night.
You see, Frances and Frank had decided to share adjoining rooms.
Now we knew why.
Anything else done, was done as should be.
In their time, with total privacy, as it should be.
I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to see them laugh together.
Gently hold one anothers hands.
Just be involved with the world again.
In a way, frankly, I had not seen in the years preceding them finding one another.
It never occurred to me in any way, shape, or form that they were any different from any other couple.
It might to you.
Frank and Frances have Parkinson’s Disease.
In Frank, the symptoms have served to slow, and at times, stop his tongue.
He cannot speak quickly, but must wait and work with his body, wringing out the words with time and great care.
Frances body was affected, not her speech.
She twitched constantly despite her meds.
Sometimes I would check on Frances, and help untangle her twitching limbs.
If she was in a good mood, I didn’t get an ass chewing whilst doing so.
I loved Frances for her mouth, her spunk, and her spirit.
I loved Frank for his wit, intelligence, and innate curiosity.
More than once, I waited nearly an hour for a full sentence from Frank.
I didn’t mind, because the sentences were worth their weight in gold.
Their wisdom and dignity while enduring a unthinkable disease taught me so much.
Yet I heard later some colleagues didn’t think it was love at all.
They believed my patients wits were addled, minds gone.
Those colleagues also believed love was something only the young could experience.
They succumbed to their own disease.
I don’t know what awaits those colleagues in their future romances.
But I know this.
I will emulate Frances and Frank.
Love presents many obstacles, no matter what your age.
God willing, I face whatever obstacles come my way as Frances and Frank did.
Rather than be young and terminally, deliberately blind.