(Note: these glasses are back in style! )
All right, already! For those of you that have mentioned that I have only talked about inspiring women so far, let me introduce you to a most inspiring man in my life.
Meet George. George was my mother's husband of thirty plus years. He was her Knight in Shining Armor. He entered Mom's life when she was forty two and she had pretty much given up any hopes of finding her soul mate. (Note to all single women out there: never never never give up hope!) He was the kindest, gentlest, most generous, lovingest (?) man I have ever known. (Except, of course, my very own personal soul mate.) I'm not sure I will ever know another man with as much integrity and devotion to his family as this man.
Already a devoted father of two adult children that he adored, George immediately accepted me as his step-daughter and treated me as if I were his own. You don't find that very often, folks. Step-children are usually looked upon as a necessary evil that just happens to come with the package. When my sons came along, he considered them his own as well. And what a grandpa he was to all his grandchildren! My boys are still convinced that he single-handedly won WWII in Italy where he was stationed as a Logistics Officer. He told them an abundance of war stories, as well as a few fish stories that he loved to tell to anyone else that would listen!
In addition to his kindness and generosity , George was also an unbelievable optimist….sometimes ad nauseum, I have to say. Not really, but he had the most positive outlook on life of anyone I have ever known! He loved everyone and was convinced that all mankind is as good and honest and generous as he was. Not wanting to burst his bubble, we all simply went along with this rosy outlook. And why not???
When George retired from his lifelong career, he insisted that my mom retire too so that they could travel together. She had worked most of her life and now this amazing man was insisting that she only needed to be with him! So sweet! And what do you think his favorite pastime besides travelling was? Golf golf golf golf golf golf and more golf! He was never more happy than when he was on the golf course with his son or his golfing buddies. And he had not one, not two, not three, four, five or six but SEVEN, count 'em, SEVEN "Holes in One" in his lifetime!
Well, that positive outlook on life never left George. Not even when he was diagnosed with lung cancer several years ago. He never gave up hope that the day would come that he would be back out on that golf course. And I don't recall ever hearing him complain throughout his entire illness, even when he was confined to a wheel chair and required constant nursing care. Now THAT'S just crazy!
We lost George on November 30, 2006, but we all find comfort in knowing that we will see him again and can't wait to get a big ol' George Bearhug on the other side of those pearly gates.
Rest in Peace Dear Husband, Father, Step-father, Grandfather, Friend…..we'll love you forever!