1. This is me and one of my favorite longtime customers Ray Jay who when he sees me always greets me with "Hey Friend"
  2. His sweetheart, as he calls her, Lanelle passed away this spring from a type of thyroid cancer.
  3. We talk about her and their life together whenever he comes in to see me.
    Now a days it's fairly often because he is lonely.
  4. Today would have been their 55th wedding anniversary.
  5. Here is what I know of their love and life story
  6. They met in west Texas when he was 24 and Lanelle was 25
    (When she was younger she didn't like people to know she was older than him)
  7. He was working in the oil patch and she was a paleontologist with Exxon.
    Yes! You go girl!
  8. She was also a beauty queen.
  9. Ray Jay grew up in an orphanage and had no attachments to anyone or any place
  10. Lanelle came from a large traditional family
  11. They saw each other for the first time at a movie theater. Their mutual friends introduced them and that was it for him he was done for.
  12. He thought she was the prettiest girl he'd ever seen.
  13. He learned real quick she was also the smartest.
  14. They were married within 3 months of meeting.
  15. They traveled and worked and moved around.
  16. They waited some years before starting their family.
  17. They have 2 sons. One lives nearby.
  18. Things had been hard on them the last few years with the cancer treatments and the cancer itself taking its toll on Lanelle
  19. Lanelle was always slim but the cancer brought her down to 100lbs the last time I saw her.
    I've learned from my older customers that it's actually good to have a little meat on your bones in case you get ill when you are older. Ray Jay told me she was 78lbs when she passed :(
  20. I watched him lovingly care for her.
    It was stressful and hard on him but he handled it. He was a grump but I understood.
  21. They'd come in to pick out flowers and they'd bicker but he always gave in and gave her what she wanted. It was a game for them.
  22. She loved red flowers
  23. The last time I saw Lanelle I knew she wouldn't make it to the next spring.
    So I told her goodbye in my mind and gave her hug and told her I'd see her soon.
  24. Ray Jays stress has gone down significantly but he misses his sweetheart so much.
  25. He admits that he talks to her picture every morning and keeps her up on things around here.
  26. Lately Ray Jay has been getting forgetful so he went to a brain Doctor as he put it to get checked out
  27. He's waiting to find out what's happening.
  28. For now he tells me he's just going to stay busy and garden and keep his body and mind strong.
  29. I told him today I was taking pictures of myself with all my friends but really I just wanted a pic with him.
    He said "is this a selfie?" I said yes. He said "I've been wanting to do one of these" 😊
  30. Idk maybe I will start doing these little customer stories with all my "friends". It's kinda crazy the amount of personal things I know about people just from being their plant sales person.
  31. Anyway...please talk to and befriend the older people around you. You both will benefit I promise ❤️