On Thursday night, I caught dinner with a girlfriend. Our hectic work and personal schedules made it challenging for us to find time to meet. The dinner was well worth the wait. Hours flew by before realizing the time. I decided to grab Uber home after dinner. It would make the commute less stressful and faster to complete a great evening. You‘d assume it’s an average night out – not quite the story. It’s what happened once I was in the car that changed my entire night.
The work week was turning out to be difficult despite some bright spots. I’m learning that life will always throw some curveballs but if I can get a walk without getting struck by the ball – it’s a good day! The driver, Philippe was Haitian, dark-haired, well dressed older man. He was personable, friendly and happy. He spoke of his 22-year old marriage to the love of his life. They lived in a modest but beautiful home in the suburbs which they shared with their five children, ages 10 to 17. He spoke of his wife with affection, tenderness and a strong loyalty for their union. He explained how much his family meant to him. But he also told me about his family’s initial disapproval of his wife when they met right out of college. It almost destroyed the courtship. They came close to terminating their relationship.
I asked Philippe in my inquisitive tone, “Balancing your family’s and wife‘s desires must have been taxing on you. What tipped the scale for you? Why did you decide to fight instead mowing through the opinion of those most important to you?”
He looked directly at me through his mirror. The conviction in his eyes and tone touched a deep part of me when he responded, “My wife and I take care of EACH OTHER. We love each other. We will be there for each other long after my family, our children and everyone has departed to follow their own journey. She is the love of my life; we chose each other to share a life. We know without a doubt this is where we both want to be. Nothing, no one will break up what we share together.”
His words were powerful and intentional. When he was done we were approaching home. My heart was full and happy to hear someone express such loyalty and love for their significant other with such passion. Honestly, as I recall last night’s story to share with you, I’m overwhelmed with emotion and tears. This is pure love. It is the reason we’re all here. Why don’t we allow ourselves to feel such power? I guess everyone has their own story. Some are not capable of such intensity while others are terrified by it, I think. Of course, there will always be those that never encounter such love.
Arriving at my destination, I thanked Philippe for everything including sharing his story. He turned around, looked right at me before speaking his last words. Undeniably, there was belief in his eyes. His words were meant to be impactful. He said, “Decide what you want then go get it! Once it’s in your hands, SHAPE, MOLD AND CRAFT it. Don’t allow anyone to take away who you are and your happiness. You have a right to it but you have to know what that happiness looks like first. Good night, Ms. Yvette.”
In life, we come across people near and far that touch our lives in some way. Last night, Philippe brought his flashlight to brighten my day. I hope this weekend or some day in your lives you find someone to shine the light for you at just the right time you need it.
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