We are awaiting a connecting flight in the Charlotte Airport. After a visit to ‘the necessary room’ imagine my husband’s surprise when I rushed back and said, “I wish you could go into the Women’s restroom!” It was a singularly unique experience for me.
In terminal A of this busy airport is a bustling women’s washroom. Valerie, dressed in her blue and black airport garb, was dancing back and forth, spray bottle and cleaning rag in hand. She was greeting everyone who entered with a beatific smile. That would have been delightful enough. But it is not enough for Valerie. She does not allow a single woman to get by her without an exuberant greeting; “Welcome to Valerie’s Happy Restroom!”. And that is only the beginning of her remarkable enthusiasm. You are escorted to the ‘condo of your choice – large condo, small condo, kiddie condo’, inviting one and all to ‘take a seat – there’s a seat for one and all!’ I believe this is the first time I have been serenaded during . . . while um . . . when visiting my condo of choice. All condo visitors enjoy her rendition of “Don’t worry, P_ _ Happy” [Right, I did not say “Be”]
Please excuse me if I border the wasteland of the offensive. I do not intend to assault the sensitivities. My hope is to inspire all of us to see even the most mundane tasks with new eyes. If Valerie can have a happy restroom, then I can surely clean up my own attitude when I must face the unpleasant. Unpleasant- ness comes in so many shapes and forms. I here and now proclaim to you that whatever comes my way I promise to do my best to put the best face on it! Wouldn’t it be a better world if everyone did?
I once told my dearly departed friend, Major Patty Parker, that “whenever I saw things her way I got a headache”. Once upon a time when we worked together, I bought a decorative pillow for my office chair with this inscription on it and called it my Patty Pillow. Patty was a beautifully, unusual person. She was like Valerie in her outlook. To some it may seem “Polyanna-ish”, but what I know for sure is that it is entirely possible to have depth of insight, strength and valor, and still not worry, and be happy. Proof in the pudding was Patty, with an added portion of zest. How I miss her. I’m adding Valerie to my list of “models for living” in the Patty Parker category.
“Seize life! Eat bread with gusto, drink wine with a robust heart. Oh yes – God takes pleasure in your pleasure!
Dress festively every morning. Don’t skimp on colors and scarves. Relish life with the spouse you love each
and every day of your precarious life. Each day is God’s gift. It’s all you get in exchange for the hard
work of staying alive. Make the most of each one! Whatever turns up, grab it and do it.
And heartily! This is your last and only chance at it.”
Ecclesiastes 9: 7 – 12
Written by: Lt. Colonel Martha Jewett
Florida’s Director of Women’s Ministries, friend to all, wife, mother of three and grandmother of two