For most, Mother’s Day has come and gone. I, on the other hand, am still celebrating our moms throughout the month of May by sharing their stories with the world. If you’d like to salute your mom or share a story of your lessons learned, drop me a line here. I’d love to salute you or your mom during Mothers’ May!
Today as I was flying to Atlanta, I met the cutest little 70 year old mother of an only child from Scott, Louisiana. She was heading to Atlanta to spend a week with her son Mitchell. She regaled me with stories for two solid hours, and I sat there and chuckled with her the whole time like we were old friends.
My new friend’s name is Camille — like the hurricane that hit Louisiana in 1969. She lost her husband a year ago, so she’s still discovering how to adjust to her new normal. She told me the story of how they met. She had been single all her life — raising Mitchell alone. Then one day when she was 48, she met the love of her life. He walked into a local bar with a peculiar camouflage hat on his head. Though this sounds like the start of a joke with a man walking into a bar, it’s really more of a fairy tale. Camille said, “This short little man walked in with that crazy hat on, and I politely took it off his head and put it on the bar. When he came to get it, I noticed he was kinda cute.” They were married three months later and lived a life filled with adventures until he passed away last year. He was an Army Veteran and wanted his final resting place to be near his friends. “He deserved to be there; it’s such a beautiful place.”
She teared up as she shared the story of her trip to Arlington National Cemetery and the circus associated with getting through TSA screening with an urn of ashes. She understood the need for screening “with our world being the way it is,” but her heart couldn’t stand one more ache that day — considering what was on her agenda.
We also talked about her art — a God-given gift to create anything out of papier mache. I told her she needed to start taking pictures of her work, including the six-foot alligator and the rattlesnake she made years ago. She described her creations in great detail, and I could almost imagine this eclectic little house on a street I’ve driven down many times over the years. I may have even waved to her a time or two as she worked in her yard filled with beautiful flowers.
Our time together flew by, and I knew we’d have to go our separate ways soon. I waited until everyone else had deplaned so that I could spend a little more time with Camille. As we waited for her wheelchair, she beckoned me closer so she could tell me a secret. I just smiled a little — not knowing what to expect. She confessed that in her 70 years on this great planet, she had never gotten a manicure or a pedicure until yesterday. “Honey, I didn’t know what I had been missing! That’s why I’m wearing open-toed shoes today. I gotta show off my pedicure.” We giggled and hugged in parting. She was headed to baggage claim to collect her overweight suitcase filled with God knows what, and I was headed to Terminal A to catch my connecting flight home. It was my sincere pleasure to meet Camille of Scott today — a little ray of sunshine on an otherwise dreary Georgia day.