Approaching my 55th birthday I said a prayer, "Please let true love come into my life at this stage of my journey."
A couple of years later I was on a plane headed home from a speaking engagement in Chicago. Due to my extensive travel I was thrilled to be able to upgrade to first class. Settled in my window seat I mused that I hoped I would have an interesting seat partner to chat with. A few minutes later, with cellphone in hand, a tall handsome gentleman strode up the aisle. I overheard him chatting with his daughter as he stowed his briefcase and leather jacket in the space above. I pretended to concentrate on the book I was reading to not overhear his conversation. The flight attendant offered a beverage before takeoff and we both asked for a Chardonnay. Still nestled in my book I heard him say hello in a very deep "Radio or TV" appealing voice. He then said "Where are you going?" "Tampa." I answered. "You?" He answered Atlanta. He inquired as to my occupation. My first book was about to be published so I said "Author!" He said that he had a book about to be published too. That exchange started a two-and-a-half-hour sharing of life stories. He prefaced his by saying "I will never see you again so may I tell you my life story? It has been an emotional day." When he finished he turned to me and said "You?" I said that I would never see him again so I shared next. When the plane landed in Atlanta we de-planed and exchanged cards and said goodbye. He went off to baggage claim and I to catch the connecting flight.
I thought of him daily for a long time but never heard a word. I did know his life story so I was not surprised. Two years passed! YES ... Two Years. This is the part of my story where everyone says that too!!! TWO YEARS!
I just had finished speaking at an event when I returned to my hotel room. I played my cell phone messages and there was that intriguing voice again. He said that he didn't blame me if I didn't return his call as he had never reached out to me but that he was in Tampa and wanted to see if I would like to meet him for a drink. My heart started to beat faster and I was in disbelief. I quickly returned the call and said that I understood as I knew his story. I would have loved to but at the time I was in Seattle. He said that he would be in Orlando six months later and would be in touch.
Months went by and one day in late March the call came. On the very day he was supposed to be in Orlando I was too. We planned to meet for lunch after my presentation. As I waited for him to arrive I wondered if I would recognize him. It had been two and a half years after only a two-and-a-half-hour plane flight. The moment arrived and he walked in the door. He took my hand and we were seated at a quiet table. He asked if I would like a glass of wine. We ordered and then he took my hand and said, "Where have you been the last two and a half years?" We sat engrossed in deep conversation and time flew and then I asked the all important question! "Why did you wait two years to call me?" I had to know. He paused and then said, "I had nothing to offer you but an affair and I knew from that airplane ride that you were not that kind of woman." Now everyone that hears our story says "Ahhhhhh!" Yes his life had changed. He was offered a wonderful opportunity in Chicago that took him out of retirement and back into his amazing career and he wanted to get to know me better. He said that he had kept my card all that time and knew if his life ever changed he would look for me.
The rest is a fairy tale come true as my prayers were answered. On my 60th birthday I had a beautiful engagement ring on my finger. We have now been married almost eight years. Each day is a love affair all over again. He is a true partner, boyfriend and husband in one. To find this at this stage in my journey of life is a gift that I treasure everyday.
So as you take your own journey always have hope that your life's partner is just a step or a seat away.