A sweetheart older couple walked by holding hands and we stopped them to chat. We asked how long they had been married and they confidently responded, “68 years.”
Um what? Seriously? Well, yes.
Turns out the husband is 92 years old but they don’t look a day over 75. We kindly asked them to share an “aha moment” with us.
The husband casually responded, “Well, I was in the Marines and I was hitchhiking, and she picked me up.”
Once again, UM WHAT? Seriously?
Yup. That was it.
That was his moment. He went on to tell us that he later went to fight in WWII, continued writing her letters throughout the war, came home after the war and married her.
Nathan, Jess and I stood there in shock over the beauty, simplicity and sheer joy of their love. It was one of the most unreal things I’ve ever seen. Simply beautiful.
….And that was just ONE story.
The past two days have been beyond anything I expected. We started DAY ONE with Ben the Jedi, a man who adopted 2 children from Vietnam and went on to start Giving it Back to Kids, an organization helping children throughout Southeast Asia and a woman who wandered up to the trailer and shared a deep moment that she had never told anyone before…except us. WOW.
DAY TWO was filled with more and more incredible stories. A woman approached the trailer with 4 sweetheart blonde children. She spoke about motherhood. She spoke about the joy and beauty and trials and tears of shaping a piece of the next generation. One of my favorite comments was when she said, “I love my kids and everyone loves their kids, but I like my kids. I like being around them and I think they’re pretty cool people.” What a neat perspective and a great mom. Check out her blog, here.
Then there was the girl who began interning for Human Options, an organization that works to fight against domestic violence. It was only after she began working there that she realized that her last relationship was actually an abusive one.
Talk about powerful.
Those are just to share a few but honestly the past two days have been filled with story after story of amazing people and doing incredible things and it has been an honor to share and celebrate with each of them.
A huge thing I realized was when I was talking to a friend of mine and he mentioned that my job is “so cool and you get to meet so many interesting people.” And then it dawned on me, these are just every day people. Just like the people we see walking around on a daily basis, the only difference is that we’ve taken the time to ask the deep questions and discover the special moments in their lives.
As I sit in the airport at 5:30am waiting to fly back to Atlanta for graduation, I’ve got a whole new perspective. I’m looking around and wondering what is everyone’s story? The older woman in the corner, the middle aged man with a Steelers hat eating a McDonald’s breakfast, the college aged kid with headphones and a Frappuccino…each of them have these amazing stories, I’m sure. It’s just a matter of asking the questions and taking the time to listen.
Who knows who I’ll sit next to on this flight, but I’m sure they are going to be pretty amazing.
Ben the Jedi
The sweet mom of 4 kids came back and brought us cupcakes! Too sweet... literally!