January 7, 2010
Going to different places really allows us to realize the numerous different lifestyles there are. There are the mildly religious, intellectual elders, creepers, snobby high class blondes, and gentle beings that are all awaiting for your presents of gracious greetings. I recently encountered one of the greatest adventures in my life time. I got the chance to sail on a grand cruise ship through the deep blue waters of the Alaskan coast. On that trip, I met so many different people and learned something extremely valuable. I met an elderly couple that changed my life thoughts forever….
I scrambled to look for my cabin key and book before I leave to head up to the lido deck for 2 cups of sugary coffee and nourish my mind with a little mystery reading. I press the up arrow for the elevator and wait. As I waited, I usually encounterd a person or two wearing puffy over coats to travel the outside deck or shimmery dresses making their way down to the night club. I stood there staring at my reflection wearing dark blue sweats and a green t-shirt with glasses on my face and a book in my hand. BING. The gold elevator doors opened and my reflection disappeared. I entered and took a trip up to the 9th deck. I made my to the buffet and poured a deliciously warm cup of coffee. I go ahead into the patio dining area and read. As the night got later and my mind began to wander, I started to think; think about life and its meaning. This feeling and thought came and went as it felt. Every night I zoned off into space with the noise drowned out, my body felt weightless. Does this have a meaning behind it? Why do I feel this sporadically?
For 3 days in a row, my mind pondered around this thought and its reason. My midnight strolls helped me find peace within myself. I stepped out into the night and became embraced with invisible chills. I looked out into the distance and saw another cruise ship. I stared at the lights as it splashed across the black ocean. Chills told me to go back inside, as well as a sweet old woman who came up behind me. My feet lead me back to my cabin to begin preparing myself for the formal dinner.
CLINK CLINK CLINK. I run to the door to be greeted by my friend and partner in crime since the day we met three years before, Cecily. “Hey dude, are you ready?”
“Yeah. I just need to find my heels and my purse. You look so pretty!” I spoke in a rush to not keep her waiting.
“Thank you! So do you! I can’t wait to eat some sushi!”
“Ha-ha, yeah I bet,” I stated with laughs.
As we rushed to the elevator and to the 2nd floor for the formal dinner, we are surrounded by numerous crowds of people dressed to impress in tuxes and shiny outfits.
“Good evening, ladies. Will it just be you two tonight?” asked the kind gentleman at the large wooden podium. We nodded with smiles. “Would you mind dining with another couple, or would you like to wait for about an hour to dine alone?” Our faces turned sour as we said we will dine with others. He lead us around the bend and to a table with 2 white haired people. The man was wearing a very old fashioned brown suit and the woman was wearing a black dress with a pink casual jacket with a small shiny pin on the collar. He looked to be about in his mid sixties and same for her. The more I studied her, she reminded me of my geometry teacher by the way her lips pursed together so tightly and how her white hair was all pinned back in a low pony behind her head.
At first the evening started off a little on the awkward side, then I asked how their trip was going and the conversation would take off from there. A few minutes into the conversation, a young man, about 30 years old, pulled out a chair and joined us. I had seen this guy around the ship quite a few times and became a little concerned as to why he randomly sat with us until the older woman introduced him to Cecily and I. In front of him was a wooden board. It actually looked quite like Ouija Board with the letters and numbers. It was chipped and worn with scratches in the letters. It was after these observations that I was informed he had cerebral palsy. The woman continued her part of the conversation with bragging about her son, Brad, a college graduate. I was quite impressed and began to think he was most likely misjudged by most people that crossed his path. Our appetizers we ordered previously were placed in front of us. The conversation came to a halt.
I looked down at the fancy china with red sauce in the center of 10 pink shrimps. I pinched one’s tail into my fingers and bounced it in the middle. Then CRUNCH, CRUNCH. It was so delicious! As I moved my food around from wall to wall in my mouth, I tried to think of a new conversation starter to break the silence. I enjoyed this dinner with the two elders and their special son. So far I am learning a lot during this dinner and the whole time, Cecily is quiet and looking down. She doesn’t speak unless she is questioned, and even then she struggles to come close to remotely liking this evening. I appreciate it more and more as I learn more about life and its mysterious ways of stringing strangers together. At this point, I started to zone out, but instead of my thoughts slamming into a hard, cold wall as usual, I seemed to be able to walk through a large wooden door with flowers and grace on the other side. In the midst of this quick mental trip, I heard a voice in the depths of the flowers say that everything in life has meaning and the people we meet have a purpose at that moment in time in our lives. My mini dream is gone in a pouf after the little old man opens his mouth, followed by powerful words.
“What do you plan on going to college for?” At first these words were just a question asked by several people. The power he placed into it was great. He made it so different from any other person who asked.

Before I answered, I looked deep into his eyes. They read happiness and gentleness. The medium sized spectacle glasses that rested upon his nose reflected the light from the chandelier. Then it came to me. “I would really like to go to into the medical field.” Their faces changed. Wrinkles took shape in their foreheads, more so than before. Their lips curved down and they both look impressed. “I enjoy helping people and most of my family is nurses, but I want to be more than just a nurse. I want to be in a higher rank than they are.”

“What kind of nurse?” asked the woman?

“I’m really thinking about being a nurse practitioner.”

“Oh really?” the woman’s face brightened in praise. “I’m a nurse practitioner!”

“Yes, this is your woman, here,” added the man as he points to his wife with a large smile on his face and a certain twinkle in his eyes that I will never forget. “That’s so great! Go for it. You will never regret it.” I have never been so captured by someone’s eyes like his were doing to me. They were grabbing me tighter and tighter with every word he spoke or heartfelt glance he snuck at his wife. I could see the love he had for her. It was written upon his eyes. What were the odds of meeting someone who knew all about what I wanted to go into? And the man was a college professor for 40 years in Florida.

“Did you enjoy being a professor?” I questioned.

“Of course I did! I taught high school as well, but it was nothing compared to working at a college.”There it was again! Another shimmer in his eyes! This man seems to really love his life and everything about it. And that I admire. “Plus, that’s where I met the love of my life,” he said with a slight tilt in his head toward his wife.

“I took one of his courses,” she said as she helped Brad cut up his food.

The whole time we are having these conversations about life, I saw the man’s eyes looking at me through his spectacles. He begins to talk to me with his eyes. I felt like he is saw something special in mine. He was reading me like I was him. And this is the moment that I saw something great! Something that I have been waiting for all those times I zoned out and all those times I would stroll around at midnight aimlessly in the deserted halls of the ship. I realized that every single person that I meet in my life, good or bad, has meaning to my being. They may not stay in my life, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t important, it only means their time and purpose to help my life stay on its path was complete.

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iliketac0s said...
Apr. 5, 2010 at 5:06 pm
wow, this is really good! i like it!
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