A Love Story

8 March 2015

I wanted to tell you about a story that happened to me at work on Friday. It was one of those moments that stays with you and keeps you thinking, and I think I will remember it for a very long while. Now to give you a slight background, I work as an Event Manager at a racecourse, so it was a big race meeting called the Grand Military Gold Cup, where the Royal Marines and regiments from the Cavalry all come for a well deserved day out, and all the jockeys are either serving or retired military. Princess Anne attends and it's a fantastic event that makes you proud to be British.

Ok, so picture this. It is a glorious day. The sun is beaming down on the parade ring as the horses are trotting round. People are sitting on the terrace picking which horses to bet on. The Royal Marines Band are playing songs from the musicals. It's an all round lovely day.


I was going about my way, managing the event as you do, and I walk past an old man on the terrace, clad in traditional racing tweed. He must have been between 80 and 90 years old, probably older than my Grandpa. He stopped me and said 'Do you dance lovely girl?'

I replied and said, 'Well yes I do. I went to a dancing school from the age of 2 and was fortunate enough to dance with the European Ballet in my youth.'

He went on to say 'It's a shame how young'uns dance in clubs these days. They just bop up and down and don't actually dance.' I was nodding in agreement (and slight guilt that I have been known to drop my classically trained ways and throw some shapes in a club occasionally).

He then continued, 'My wife passed away 8 weeks ago' to which I offered my sympathies. He said it was fine and even though he misses her desperately, it's just the way life goes.

'If my wife was here with me right now, we'd be standing next to the Royal Marines Band and be dancing without a care in the world. Proper dancing.' It really moved me that he was remembering her fondly for the things that they obviously once loved to do.

He then asked me, 'Will you dance with me?'

I actually started to well up a bit when he asked me that. How could I have said no to this lovely man who was obviously still grieving for his wife and just wanted to remember her in a beautiful way. I could honestly feel how much that he loved her. If I'm ever lucky enough to marry someone and be with them until death do us part, I honestly couldn't ask for more. How could I say no?

So I said yes. And I danced with him then and there, on the terrace, in the sunshine, to the music of the Royal Marines Band like he said he would have been.

Hopefully, I helped to make him very happy that day. It's all about random acts of kindness. You should try it, because one day, someone might offer you something similar. It could change your life.

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