It is fairly commonplace to find benches in public parks that bear a plaque in memory of someone. These often carry the name of the person along with dates of the span of his / her life and, perhaps a brief quotation that is appropriate to their memory. This one, on a bench overlooking the ocean, doesn’t fit into that pattern:
Who were the old lady and the old man? They must have been well-known in that community. Perhaps they had become part of the scenery, with locals frequently seeing the old lady and the old man sitting on that bench looking out to sea. Did they bring a flask of tea with them or a pack of sandwiches? Was this a resting point for them at the end of a regular walk? I wonder if they used to sit there for a long time each day, long enough for passersby to smile at them or turn to each other and say “there’s the old lady and the old man” as if their presence in that spot at that time made the day right for them. Then, they simply weren’t there anymore. But their presence is remembered. There must be many who know who the old lady and the old man were; who chatted to them; who loved them; and who miss them dreadfully. For the rest of us, this plaque is a reminder of all we know who have passed before us; it gives us a reason to reflect, to remember; it makes us think about love, friendship and longevity. I don’t know who the old lady and the old man were, yet this simple plaque on a bench overlooking the ocean makes me think they were good people who were worth remembering in this way.