Well, it’s Valentine’s Day so first off HAPPY VALENTINES DAY! Amazingly today will be the first time since we’ve been married that we are actually getting to go out to dinner and “celebrate” Valentine’s Day because being in the hospitality industry, he’s always working! So this is a first for us and I guess I’ll let you know later in the week how it went! We’re planning on going to The Chicken and The Egg for dinner and we always love going there so it should be really good!
Valentine’s Day marks a “special” day for hubby in another way. For almost the last 20 years other than last year and this year he always has one of his co-workers call him on Valentine’s Day for him to tell her one of his “special” stories. Valentine’s Day is one of their busiest days of the year and it’s a very hard day to work. It can be very draining both physically and emotionally. I’m not sure how many of you remember the post I did last year about his former co-worker and trainer Bunny and her passing. Well, Bunny was the one who called him every year wanting to hear the story of “how we met” or his version anyway. She loved stories with happy endings and loved him telling her that story along with another special story. He couldn’t tell that one at her eulogy so I’ll tell it now.
He said he used to have this “customer” come in his restaurant all the time and the first time she came in it kind of took him by surprise and he said he wasn’t sure where to look. She was apparently an attractive and amply endowed black woman who liked to wear very low cut tops. She had tattoos above each breast. One said “Got milk?” and the other said “Chocolate only”. Every time he’d tell Bunny that story she’d laugh til she almost cried. When she was having a particularly bad day she’d call him up and say “Hey, Dwight! Tell that story about the tattoos again! I really need a laugh.” So Bunny that was for you!
Hubby asked that I repost the story I wrote about Bunny last year in her honor because she always called him on Valentine’s Day wanting the story of our meeting and the tattoo story so now that I’ve told the tattoo story for Bunny, here is the post from last year.
“I know I just bragged yesterday about my husband and what a wonderful man he is but if I was ever not sure (which I already was) today solidified what a great man he is. Last Friday one of his former co-workers passed away and today was her funeral. She was one of his main “trainers” for his job now. They are still with the same company just different locations but they still talked fairly regularly and saw each other pretty much monthly. She has seen our kids grow up and vice versa. Most of the higher ups in hubby’s company all started out with her together. This is a fairly tight knit group.
Hubby got the call last Friday shortly after she was found. He has been pretty upset but immediately set into action to make sure that her restaurant was covered today for the funeral. He sent a lot of his best employees to cover so that the employees at her restaurant (including managers) could be off for the funeral. He helped call around and arrange the other concepts of his company taking food by the house for the family every day since Saturday as well as everyone going back to the house after the funeral today.
This woman was well loved. She left behind two sons, a daughter and 3 grandchildren. Her daughter and grandson lived with her. He has barely left his mom get out of his sight since his grandma passed away. The chapel at the funeral home was filled to overflowing with friends, coworkers and family.
The family had asked 4 of her coworkers through the years to speak at the funeral. Two of them had been her managers and they both declined. One was the Vice President of the company and the other was hubby. As much as hubby hates funerals and as soft hearted as he is and as hard as it was for him, he did it. Let me just say I am so proud of him. He did such a great job. I think he may have missed his calling. I told him after hearing him speak today maybe he should have been a minister or at least a public speaker. I think all of his coworkers were just as shocked and impressed. Everyone that came up to him afterwards told them what a lovely eulogy it was. He made them laugh, he made them cry and he made them think. I am so impressed with my husband. I think I just fell in love with him all over again.
He told the story of how his tie wasn’t really funeral appropriate. It was kind of a loud colored tie. But the first time he wore it around Bunny he said she told him that it looked like someone got drunk, ate a bunch of pizza and threw it up on the tie. She would occasionally call him just to have him tell her one of his funny stories so he would make her feel better and laugh. He liked to tell her how the fact that I had lumpy mashed potatoes actually made him come to my table 30 years ago and how if he had been doing his job correctly, we’d never have met (we all know that’s not really true since I was stalking him) and she always told him she loved that story because she loved happy endings.
He also related how in their last conversation he asked her if she wasn’t ready for retirement (she was 65) and she said she would probably just keep doing what she was doing until she dropped, which is pretty much what happened. She told him the only time she really thought about retirement what when she left her house and her grandson would be standing at the door crying, begging for her to stay. Then he said that now we were all standing at the door crying, begging her to stay just a little longer. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house after that. But he did it so eloquently.
I know how hard it was for him. He has been agonizing over this all week. But, despite his discomfort in doing it, I know he didn’t want to let her family down. After that, he even went and bought a cake to take by the restaurant to thank all the employees who had come from other restaurants to work today to cover for the employees who took off. How many people would go to the bother to do that? And he told the manager of that store that in the next few days they are going to take cakes by the other restaurants for the employees for them making the food to take by for the family and friends. I am so impressed not only with my husband but his company for stepping up to the plate and doing something like that. They definitely are “a family” and it shows. They are great people and they take care of each other. What more can you ask?
Bunny, wherever you are now, I know if it’s possible you are looking on and smiling. You will be greatly missed.”
Bunny, I can’t believe you’ve been gone over a year now. Things have definitely changed a lot in our lives in the last year. I wish you were around so we could share with you all the things that are going on. We still miss you dearly and we think about you often. Wherever you are… I hope you know how much you were loved. Happy Valentine’s Day Bunny!