Inspired on the plane

My quote of the day:”you meet inspiring people when you least expect it”. I am sure someone else said that before me however, it is still true.

As most of you know I returned home to Canada from Denmark a few days ago. After Alexander and I spend 14 lovely days in Denmark we tried out Swiss Air for the first time on our return flight. Boarding in Zurich I promised Alexander the window seat on row 35. As we walked down the aisle my smile faded as I saw who was sitting in our row by the aisle. 3 seats on each side of the plane and 4 in the middle. As we reached row 35 I put on a fake smile and politely told the gentleman that we had the seats beside him. With difficulties he got up. He was a much shorter person than me but probably weighed almost twice as much. Sitting down again the movement had exhorted him and he breathed heavily.   I cozied up with my son and sighed with the thought of 7.5 hours in the plane with no space for my shoulders – only if I leaned on my son’s seat.

However, as many times before I quickly realized that this gentleman was a true inspiration and throughout our conversation he almost made me cry but not for the reasons many of you might think – I really didn’t mind my seat at all – on the contrary!

He was 70 years old and lost his wife to cancer a year ago. He had been married to her for almost 35 years and she was the love of his life. He asked her to marry her or maybe she asked him – they always argued about that. However, after only 6 weeks of dating they got engaged and married 3 months later.

The way he talked about his wife and how she had always been his rock and how she was the bravest person he had ever known. And how it was unfair that she got lung cancer as he had been the one smoking before he met her (she made him stop on their first date). And how she had hold on to life to be at their son’s wedding but died 2 weeks later. And how he had never looked at another woman while he was married because he didn’t have to because he married his soul mate.

He is from Montreal – fully bilingual corporate lawyer.  He still works and didn’t like flying cause he wasn’t able to get online and work!!! He told me that he loves his phone (who said 15 year old?) which is true as he turned it on as soon as we touched ground in Montreal and was talking to someone within 2 minutes. Recently he got a new family doctor (who is gorgeous) and she talked him into starting exercising. So now he has a personal trainer that he sees daily (when not away for business) every morning at 6am. Wauw. And his goal is to weigh the same as he did when he got married.

A few months ago he went to the hospital for some testing and he learned that an old girl friend of his (before his wife) had had her retirement party from the hospital a few days ago. So he googled her and found out about LinkedIn and contacted her. And now they are dating. He was concerned about what his kids would say (he is so proud of those kids: One is a pediatrician at a hospital in US and the other also lives in US and has his own successful film producing company. They both married awesome people and are very good friends with each other and their spouses and they have grandkids). However, his daughter said that as long as he was happy and that he didn’t expect her to love her like her mother then she was fine with it.

Anyways, I got to know a lot more – he didn’t sound or look 70. A waitress recently wanted to seat him at the bar next to a gorgeous 35 year old as she knew she was single however, he refused as he said that he was flattered that the waitress obviously thought he was much younger but he kids are that age so instead he said:

“I don’t want to move on, I want to move forward”.

And yes, I also managed to color with Alexander and watch 2 movies. Those flight are just so freaking long 🙂

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