It’s funny the people who come into our lives. I feel that I have been especially blessed because of being a writer, editor, TV host, journalist, speaker, whatever–I meet some of the most interesting people. It occurred to me that all of us know people who are incredible. They are talented, patient, gifted, interesting, charismatic, enlightening, engaging, and more. People who work at the bank, the drive through, the pharmacy, the doctor’s office or the school. There are people from all walks of life who, to the average person, seems to be just like everyone else–until you get to know them and you learn they have lived (or are living) extraordinary lives.
Several years ago when I was the Lifestyle Editor at the Fairfield Echo, I had the opportunity to interview a number of these extraordinary people. A women who, at 95, chided me for not being able to keep up with her. She and her husband had built, by hand, the stone house from river-bed rock in the 1940s. They built a business which she ran after he passed away.You might remember her hayride business. She was also a musician and played violin on the radio when “Colerain Avenue” was a dirt street.
Then there was the whittler. He made incredible wooden things. Animals, birds, butterflies, and big things that he showed me in his work shed. He told me that he would rather sit on the front porch and whittle (under the ceiling fan) than almost anything else. I pass his house often and always look to see if he is there.
I have a new friend who has had an amazing baseball career. Jim Lefebvre was a player, coach, manager and he even created and coached the Chinese Olympic Basball Team in 2008. (you can find him on facebook). Extraordinary people are all around us.
I have met people who have endured the darkest hours. People who have climbed out of situations that no one should have ever experienced. I have met doctors who have discovered cures for our ailments and they are waiting for FDA approval. I have friends who are artists, singers, composers, that never tell anyone about their success. But the stories they can share when you get them to sit down, which is generally the most difficult part.
There are people in my family who are extraordinary by anyone’s measure. My dad has been an animal lover his whole life and now at 80 still cleans 20 stalls and takes care of that many horses. My mom has been on chemo for 7 years for liver cancer that they said would be her demise within six months. My sisters are all gifted in many ways, as are Rick’s family members. And I won’t even start on my kids and grand kids! Who could ever top them?
The thing is, we are surrounded by ordinary people who live extraordinary lives. We just don’t know about them. I would love to tell the stories of these people. If you know someone who you believe is one of these extraordinary people, and you want me to share their story, please send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put Extraordinary in the subject line and give me a brief paragraph and contact info. I would like to write about one each week for the next year. Just take a look around you–you will soon see these ordinary people living their very extraordinary lives.