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He's My Travel Role Model...


On the homefront, Canadian JourneyWoman, Julie Cole is the proud mama of six. In the world of business she's the successful Co-founder of Mabel’s Labels Inc. who blogs at and Julie's writing is filled with empathetic musings such as this blog post which offers a glimpse of what it is like to care for a travelling partner with Alzheimers disease. She writes...

Last week I was flying to L.A. for a speaking engagement. As I boarded the plane, I reminded myself how peaceful the flight would be. Flying solo is like a forced holiday. Flying with my gang of six children is a big job and one that I spend a fair amount of time dreading. However, after the experience I had on that particular flight, I realized that maybe travelling with my kids is not so bad after all.


She had big brown eyes...

Two rows ahead of me, in the bulk head seats, was a very elderly man who walked with a cane. He was travelling with his wife, a striking woman with big brown eyes and long, thick, dark hair tied neatly back.

Clearly Alzheimer’s had taken a nasty hold of her. She was aggressive. Quite regularly she would stand by the bulk head, face the passengers behind her and give us dirty and accusing looks. There was a very strange salute she would give if you happened to make eye contact with her. At one point she was murmuring racist remarks at the family sitting in the row between us. It was all pretty much torturous for her husband.


He stroked her face...

Whenever she got agitated, her elderly husband gently stroked her lovely face and encouraged her to sit down, which she usually did. A few minutes would pass and she’d be back up shooting the dirty looks and giving her strange salutes.

As I got off the airplane, I passed by the elderly man and told him his wife was beautiful and that he was doing a fantastic job with her. His eyes were a little teary as he gave me the most sincere “thank you” I’ve ever heard in my life.


That man is my role model...

I imagined what life was like for him – watching his wife slip away, apologizing and explaining her inappropriate behaviour, having to deal with judging looks. Dealing with all that as an 80-year-old seems like a pretty tall order. And he did it all with grace – he always remained kind, loving and patient.

That man is my new role model. The next time I’m flying with my crew and I start to lose my cool, I will remember his tired eyes and remind myself that if an exhausted old man can remain loving and patient, so can I.

Women's words on love...

'Everyone admits that love is wonderful and
necessary, yet no one can agree on what it is.'
(Diane Ackerman, 1994)

'Love is the extremely difficult realization that
something other than oneself is real.'
(Iris Murdoch, 1959)

'Love is a fruit in season at all times.'
(Mother Teresa, 1975)

'Love is like a card trick. After you know how it
works, it's no fun anymore.'
(Fanny Brice, 1952)

'I love you more than my own skin.'
(Frida Kahlo, 1935)

'It is easier to win love than to keep it.'
(Diane de Poitiers, 1910)

'In real love you want the other person's good.
In romantic love you want the other person.'
(Margaret Anderson, 1953)

When love comes it comes without effort, like
perfect weather.'
(Helen Yglesias, 1976)

'Love is like the measles. The older you get it,
the worse the attack.'
(Mary Rinehart, 1909)

'There is nothing better for the spirit or body than
a love affair. It elevates thoughts and flattens stomachs.'
(Barbara Howar, 1973)





More love stories



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