An angel in waiting
JULY 24 — The first time I walked through the back door of a hotel, I was 15 years old and I walked in with visions of romance and glamour… I still have those visions today as they have never changed.
After finishing hotel school, I left England and set off for Canada to start my life’s adventures which eventually handed me a gift only God could create and only an endless collection of jigsaw puzzle-like decisions put me in the right moment, at the right time, and right position to accept this beautiful gift.
When I was in Canada I spent a night on a frozen lake, sitting there, looking down at hundreds of feet of dark water moving beneath me whilst watching the full moon turn the entire lake white. At sunrise, the same lake turned into a wonderful sea of orange and red.
I went on to the Bahamas, walked on pink beaches and swam in a sea that was so clean and untouched that it could only be described as breathtaking.
I sat on tiny islands which had the feeling that they had never, ever been walked on before; this made me feel like I was somehow special and that I had accomplished something that others could only dream of.
I then went on to work in Hong Kong and laid on a car bonnet, staring into the sky whilst a jumbo jet came roaring over the top of the building I was parked outside before it landed in the city airport; the noise was so deafening it appeared as if the engine was in my lap and it was so close that I felt that it was possible to actually reach out and touch it.
I have stood in awe and watched millions of gallons of water flow over Niagara Falls, I have seen poverty in the Philippines that would make you break into tears and visions in India that I will carry to my grave.
I played pool with Dustin Hoffman, cooked for Madonna, John McEnroe, President Suharto and Prince Philip, drank in a club with Duran Duran, talked to Stevie Wonder, Steven Segal, Donald Trump and Charles Bronson.
I saw friends die young and the wife, who I thought at that time would be with me forever, walk out on me for another man on my birthday.
I then moved on to Penang a broken man, heartbroken, devoid of all hope and forcing myself to go through life’s motions every single day. Every morning I woke up wanting to turn over, go back to sleep and not even bother getting up at all.
The simple task of pulling my legs over the side of the bed ready to stand up became a task of monumental effort. One fateful lunch time whilst eating my Caesar salad, I looked up to see whose attention I could catch for some Parmesan cheese and then I saw her.
For a brief second, I was squinting as I tried to focus through the blinding sunlight streaming right into my eyes. It hit me directly on my face while brilliantly shining from behind her. A passing cotton wool cloud blocked the direct sunlight, dulling the glare, and there, through a ray of beautiful golden sunshine, I saw a woman with a smile that could only derive from her soul.
For no reason at all, it just made my eyes well up with tears. Beatrice and I have now been together for over 14 years, married for 12 and have two beautiful daughters. How I ended up there after all I have been through and after working in over nine different countries is beyond me.
All it would have taken was one single decision to go somewhere else at any time and the meeting of my soul mate would never have happened.
While it may not seem like it is always so, there is always love. And I would like to staunchly encourage you to never stop dreaming.
From the bottom of my heart, as a man who has travelled far, I plead with you to never, ever, ever give up hope as life really is beautiful!
* The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the columnist.