It was a normal, busy morning, about 8:30 when, George, an elderly gentleman, well into his 80's, arrived at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, England, to have stitches removed from his thumb.
George told me that he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:15 am. I weighed him and took his blood pressure and invited him take a seat in the waiting area, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would be able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound. On examination, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the Doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound.
While taking care of his wound, I asked George if he had another doctor's appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry.
George told me no, but that he needed to go to St Christopher's Nursing Home to eat breakfast with his wife. I inquired as to her health. He told me that she had been there for a while and that she suffered from Alzheimer's disease.
As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a little late. George replied that she no longer knew who he was and that she had not recognized him in five years.
I was surprised, and asked him, 'And you still go every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?'
He smiled as he patted my hand and said, 'She doesn't know me, but I still know who she is.'
I had to hold back tears as George left, I had goose bumps on my arm, and thought, 'That is the kind of love I want in my life.'