Many years ago I used to be a waitress at Lyon's Restaurant. They were mostly here on the West Coast. Somewhat similiar to Denny's but a little better quality for a 24 hr restaurant.
Talk about workin' your ass off,lol. Tough work but I got spoiled coming home most nights with $100+ tips in my apron. And that was years ago. I used to feel very rich :)
As comes with the territory, waitresses always get their "regulars". On Friday nights sometimes it used to be annoying because I'd have quite a few people requesting my station and once people become familiar with you..they expect you to stand and around and chat. It's okay if you have a table or two but a full station? YIKES. (I still have, to this day, what we called in the business "server nightmares". Those dreams where I get sat a ton of people and I can't get to anybody...like walking in quicksand and moving in slow motion. ERRRR,those are such frustrating dreams! )
One couple I used to wait on often were so cute together. They must have been in their late 70's. Come to find out the wife wrote Silhouette Romance books,lol. Here this cute little old lady writing romances..it always struck me as kind of funny. (But,hey why not? Proves you're never too old to fall in love!) Then I found out that they lived just a few blocks from me. Since I always wanted to be an author this was somewhat encouraging :) She told me she would bring me a copy of her newest book and sure enough she did. And autographed it to me! Phyllis Halldorson. Sweet Sweet lady...sweet sweet couple.
After they told me they lived in my neighborhood, once in awhile I'd see them walking down the streets....HOLDING HANDS! They had been together since high school or college, can't remember. Wow..to spend your whole life with the same person...gotta give that a high five. Beautiful.
A couple of years ago I went searching for some more of Phyllis' books to see if she had anything new. Unfortunately I saw that she had passed away.(December 28, 2007) Immediately my heart dropped because I thought of her husband "Jiggs" (his nickname) She always dedicated her books to him. After 33 years of marriage and raising her family she started writing and sold her first Silhouette novel in 1980. So doing the math they must have been married 60 years. I can't even imagine how broken his heart was.
Cut to yesterday at the supermarket in the produce section. There he was! Jiggs! A little older (it has been about 14 years since I've last seen him) but very recognizable. I quietly went up to him and touched his arm.
"Hi, I wonder if you might remember me? I used to wait on you and your wife at Lyon's?"
And he grabbed my hand and pulled his cheek next to mine. He made me want to cry when he said "We lost her". But he was smiling....he always was smiling. Now I'm not really sure if he remembered exactly who I was since it was such a long time ago but he was chatty and told me he's 94 now and he keeps pretty busy with his "kids" (who I imagine are probably all in their 60's) He had a "Life Alert" button around his neck and he said he still lives in the same house which I was happy to hear. Just writing this makes me tear up because I know that he was the love of someone's life and she was the love of his and what could be sadder than that?
It made me heartbroken but at the same time it was really delightful to see him, in the flesh, and know that the "Jiggs" I see in the opening dedication pages of Phyllis' books is doing okay. She wrote romance because she LIVED it and what a great legacy to leave behind. Love..True Love..it really DOES exist! :)