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I get to speak for a living – two, three, sometimes six hours at a time – teaching business professionals how to market their products and services to people my age (the “Mature Marketplace”, as I like to call us). Leasa started coming with me on some of those trips.

The best was a week that began in Vancouver for a speech, then to Kelowna, about a five-hour drive east and the heart of B.C.’s wine country, for another. We had lots of free-play time in between, hitting a couple dozen wineries. We spent one last night back in Vancouver, and while watching the sun go down over the water from the 17th floor hotel room window, I gave her a ring.

I told her it didn’t have to mean everything, but it did have to mean something. I also told her I wanted one in return, at Christmas.

The worst was to Atlanta, where I had one speech and then another booked half-way back across the country, while she stayed to spend more time with the grandkids. We ate at Mary Mac’s. It was lovely. But afterward, she suggested it’d be easier for everyone if I drove her to her son’s house, about an hour south of the city.

Well, maybe not everyone…

There was tension between us and when I left she questioned whether I really had her back. The evening ended with a flat tire only a block from the hotel during a driving Georgia rainstorm, followed by a 4:00 wake-up and a flight to Omaha the next morning.

Shortly after, there was yet another Time-Out. This one, lasting several months, until she sent an email suggesting I listen to a new O.A.R. song, called “Peace”.

“Maybe the words will make sense”, she wrote. “Even if they don’t, ‘Peace’ is what I wish for you.”

One of the lyrics stood out:

“We ran another off the tracks. That’s time we can’t get back.

But we can save tomorrow, if we try.”

Could we, I asked? Maybe.WP_000337