empty seats on a plane

Another Story One Seat Over: Tenacity & Legacy

Another Story One Seat Over: Tenacity & Legacy

by Bill High

In this day of the mask, it’s even easier to not talk to people on airplanes.

But as I got on my most recent flight, I couldn’t help noting the pre-boarder next to me. She searched through her big purse for the hand wipes. She then wiped the seat carefully and slowly—much like a mom would do in cleaning up after her children.

She’d traveled a long way and she seemed tired. So I leaned over and asked if Kansas City was her destination. She said, “Yes, but I’ve been visiting my daughter in Oregon.” She smiled sadly. And the story came out.

She and her husband had lived a great life. They’d traveled around the world, but they loved being in Mexico most of all. Their work called for moves, it seemed, every few years. Ultimately, he ended up a professor, which gave them roots. But they both had a desire to run their own business, so they bought a small-town newspaper, and later a second one.

She paused and smiled, “But we liked to eat, so we ended up back in education.”

They’d had 5 kids and 19 grandchildren. But after 48 years of marriage, he died—just a few months ago. She admitted that she was reeling with the loss. I asked her the secret to being married so long, and she laughed: “Tenacity. We always said we’d sooner commit murder than get divorced!”

Soon it seemed the plane was landing, and the conversation was over. She was off to a wheelchair and her waiting family.

I think we fight for the things we love. That’s what we live for. That’s legacy.



Photo by Aleksei Zaitcev on Unsplash

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Published November 27, 2020

Topics: Family Legacy

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