Sunday, March 15, 2009

Old Man Wiggle

On the cruise, I noticed an elderly gentleman who seemed to be traveling alone. He was in a wheelchair and walked it all over the ship with his feet. His table was next to ours at dinner, and that's when I saw the handwritten name tag, "Old Man Wiggle." My SIL politely asked him how old he was. He said, "Honey. I'm 97 years old."

She asked about his hat-he had a "Retired Coast Guard" cap that was covered with cruise ship pins. (The kind you get as a repeat cruiser) Turns out he's been cruising for 25 years, first with his wife, then after she passed away he started going alone. "How often do you go?" one of us asked him. "Once a month-I'd go more if I could afford it!"

As the week went by more of his story came out. The crew knew and loved him well. Every cruise he tells jokes and sings in the talent show. Between meals he plays the penny slots in the casino. Don't know for sure how he came by his nickname, but we heard his waiter call him "Mr. Wiggins."

After his wife died, he sold his house, moved into a retirement community, and put the money in the bank to use to pay for his cruises. His daughter told him he should save his money so his two kids could have an inheritance. His son told him to spend the money-it was his after all. His daughter died two years ago at the age of 75. He said, "Guess she didn't need the inheritance as much as she thought!" He was really quite the celebrity-by the end of the cruise, many people had their pictures taken with Mr. Wiggle.

Mr. Wiggle has taught me so much. Never again will I allow the little things in life to keep me from doing what I want to and going where I want to. If he can budget a cruise every month, I can budget a couple of getaways a year. If he can do exactly what he wants to do with his life, then by golly I can too! The possibilities have just become endless! As a former pastor always said, "As long as you can still fog a mirror..........." You fill in the blanks.

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