Today I met an amazing older southern lady at the airport waiting for our plane to board.
She must have been lonely because she jumps right into telling me her life story about her daughter and late husband of 50+ years, whom she adored.
She told me some hilarious stories and described what a true character he was ...everyone in their tiny home town in Virginia called him the "Mayor".
Although he wasn't really the mayor, He worked for the high school as the Maintenance man and as she said always carried "175 keys"!
She worked in the high school main office...both of them at the same school for 40 years. They started and retired on the same day together. Incredible...
The Mayor was the guy that got involved in everything and everyone knew him, she would say. He was the president of the little league, pop warner football (he didn't have any sons) and somehow found time to organize fundraisers, be a volunteer fireman and bartender at the VFW.
He was also proud Navy Vet.
They retired to Florida several years ago as he was very passionate about Golf, Cold Beer and BBQ and as she said sarcastically... "And not necessarily in that order"!
While in Florida at their retirement community he was a member of several clubs, president of most, organized several fundraising golf tournaments and of course the "Mayor" of their block parties. Which were plenty.
She did get a bit withdrawn at the end of her story and summed up everything about their marriage, relationship and the amazing outlook and life he led...
She explained the day they found out he had stage 4 cancer, on the golf cart ride home from the doctors he said to her incredibly just minutes after he was told he had very little time left to live...
"Honey it's been a great ride and journey with you, I couldn't Image another life. I know we never made a lot of money, but we worked hard, put our daughter through college and I hope we made a difference in a lot of peoples life's. I think we won the game...
So let's go celebrate that with some beer and ribs"!
She continued on to say she is not sure if she will ever get over him being gone, perhaps not?
However she says her nightly dreams and thoughts through the day are filled with funny things he would do or say and all the lifelong memories of her wonderful life with the mayor.
She says those memories gives her strengths knowing that he gave it his all everyday to make a difference with his family and their tiny Virginia community.
I am so glad I smiled and said hello to that wonderful lady today. She helped put a few things into perspective for me today by sharing her story....and I am happy to share it with you.
Have a wonderful weekend, be thankful for your life, make a difference and go enjoy some beer and ribs!