Man on the Plane

As I spend my day traveling back to school, I am reminded of one of the most interesting people I have ever met.  I wrote this last week, almost immediately after meeting him, but I want to share it now.

I seem to think that 6 am is a time where no one is talking and since I can still see the moon, storytelling isn’t as important for my ears. I’d rather be vivid in dreams as I slumber. This morning, on my plane to Chicago, I met a very interesting human, and I want to explain this man to you.

His wife recently died. Although she is no longer on earth, this man makes sure her spirit lives on. The way he chirped about his sweetie was endearing. Nothing but positive synonyms for his dear, Pat. I hope this is how I am looked at by my future husband.

He is also a writer. The next Shel Silverstein. He had one of his books with him and let me read it. The poems are simple and sweet, and he does his own illustrations. I love it.

He is in love with his family. He flew to Chicago to see his grandson. He was reading some poetry for his second grade class. He loves children and allowing their imaginations to soar.

He has been a professor of biology for 50 years. Incredible. He is passionate, and urges students to try new things, experience subject matter outside their comfort zone. He wants them to live life to the fullest.

He is one of the funniest people I have met in my brief life. Every other sentence was a joke. He loves how his wife made fun of him. Her last words to him were “shut up.” He signed up for a dating website and is now in a web with eight girls he consistently goes on dates with, and offered to let me be the ninth. His free spirit and high energy is almost contagious, yet he considers himself a grump.

He talked my ear of for the entire two-hour flight. When we landed he apologized that he didn’t even know my name or where I was going. We laughed, he gave me a business card, we parted. Two hours with this man’s wisdom and insight impacted me in a very weird, very personal way.

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