George came into the art gallery, carrying himself with a kind authority, at several inches over 6' tall. His sporty Oakleys and bright orange, juiced-up jeep (left running outside), lent itself to describing a strong aspect of his personality. He was full of adventure, spark, and life - a true fun-seeker.
At 93 years young, George was also a man on a mission. We had met him before and he left an unforgettable impression. He had been in to buy gloves for the ladies in his life. 5 of them, to be precise - "gifts for his girl friends," he said. He also brought in a teddy bear; his "co-pilot" for his jeep. The bear needed blue eyes, so they didn't blend in with his black fur. George asked if they could be painted, and of course, we obliged. We would find a way to make his day.
This visit, he bought a painted piece of reclaimed wood that had its own whispered history. In his hand, he held a piece of blue paper with a quote on it: ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING. Then, he told us about his wife. She was a beautiful soul. She told him he treated her like no one else. With him, she felt safe, protected, and loved. With her, he felt loved, capable, and infused with a sense of positivity that he had never known. They met later in life and enjoyed every second of it. Any time he would feel down, she would remind him again, "Attitude is everything." He said it changed how he viewed each day and how he viewed the world.
One day, as she walked up the steps to the front door of the home they had built together, she fell into his arms and died suddenly. It was the end of their time together. Or was it? He would always have her words and her wisdom and the memory of her cheery, magnetic disposition that she shared with everyone she met. Now, he would honor her with her favorite quote, carved into wood and permanently displayed, to remind him of her most precious and important lesson. Attitude is everything.
With George, his sweet wife lives on through the sharing of his wisdom. She lights up his life each day from afar, and sends him out into the world to "live it to the best of his ability!" Thank you, George, for sharing your lesson. We'll honor both of you, by remembering that attitude is everything.