"I saw this elderly gentleman dining by himself, with an old picture of a lady in front of him. I though maybe I could brighten his day by talking to him.
As I had assumed, she was his wife. But I didn’t expect such an interesting story. They met when they were both 17. They dated briefly, then lost contact when he went to war and her family moved. But he said he thought about her the entire war. After his return, he decided to look for her. He searched for her for 10 years and never dated anyone. People told him he was crazy, to which he replied “I am. Crazy in love”. On a trip to California, he went to a barber shop. He told the barber how he had been searching for a girl for ten years. The barber went to his phone and called his daughter in. It was her! She had also been searching for him and never dated either.
He proposed immediately and they were married for 55 years before her death 5 years ago. He still celebrates her birthday and their anniversary. He takes her picture with him everywhere and kisses her goodnight.
Some inspiring things he said;
"I was a very rich man. Not with money, but with love"
"I never had a single argument with my wife, but we had lots of debates"
"People are like candles. At any moment a breeze can blow it out, so enjoy the light while you have it."
"Tell your wife that you love her everyday. And be sure to ask her, have I told you that I love you lately?"
Be sure to talk to the elderly. Especially strangers. You may think that you will brighten their day, but you may be surprised that they can actually brighten yours.”
"It took me getting into a lot of fights before I was diagnosed with PTSD. I have something called ‘hypervigilance.’ I get really nervous around people. Especially people from the Middle East."
"What were some traumatic things that happened to you?"
"I was in a vehicle when a mortar round exploded in front of us, and we fell into the crater and got trapped. There was a burning oil rig near us, so it was like being in a microwave. And we couldn’t get out. And I also saw a lot of hanky shit. Mostly from our side. Everyone was really revved up from 9/11. We did a lot of bad things. I saw decapitations, and that was our guys doing it."
"We were supposed to bring POW’s back to the base. But instead we gave them a cigarette to calm them down, and told them to get on their knees. One of our guys was 240 lbs, and he’d taken this shovel we’d been issued, and he’d sharpened one of the sides until it was like an axe, and he could take off somebody’s head with two hits."
"How many times did you see that happen?"
"I wish I’d partied a little less. People always say ‘be true to yourself.’ But that’s misleading, because there are two selves. There’s your short term self, and there’s your long term self. And if you’re only true to your short term self, your long term self slowly decays."
"I wish that I could take a journey through your mind, and find emotions that you’re always trying to hide"
Joe- I Wanna Know
I’ve never wanted you so bad….. You are the definition of perfect, the way you look at me, that smile… It makes me melt