Day Nineteen – emotions


Moved To Tears
Describe the last time you were moved to tears by something beautiful.

I write often about how we feel that it is a great honor to share, even for just a small time, in the lives of our guests.  We get to witness their celebrations as many stay for birthdays, or weddings or anniversaries.  Moms and Dads schedule time away for a date-night, or a night away to connect before an impending birth.

Tourists come, thousands of miles from their home to see this beautiful country.  They take time away from their families and friends, spend a great deal of money on travel to take in the sights.  I love helping them find things in Taranaki that they love and to experience all that it has to offer.

I have shared the morning of the wedding with many wedding parties, beautiful brides and emotional families.   That is HUGE to me.    Bringing water, checking in to see if anyone needs a coffee, an iron, asking if they are OK.  It doesn’t feel like work, it feels like an awesome way to spend the day and when they do drive off to get married I feel like popping some champagne!

I cried twice this weekend when I saw brides for the first time.  I can’t stop it, the tears just come seeing them look so beautiful, radiating happiness and love, excited for the day and ceremony that are about to begin.  It gives me goosebumps, and I truly mean it when I tell brides that it’s my pleasure to host them.

But the answer to this question is a memory that really sticks with me more than the beautiful brides.  I cried openly during a check-out with a guest recently.  I knew they were in town visiting a relative in a care home.  When they were checking out, I asked if they had enjoyed their time in New Plymouth and were able to connect with the relative.  The gentleman shared very sweetly, very openly and very simply. It was a tough morning for him, as he was about to say goodbye to his dad, and would likely not see him again before his passing.

I found it so beautiful for so many reasons.

Firstly that he had come, spent time, showed up, during a very difficult and tough time.  Many people would shy away, ignore the situation and wait until faced with sad news.  It takes a lot to show up in situations of great sadness and importance.  We don’t always get the chance to say goodbye to those we love.  After years of being present with my dad’s illnesses, I almost missed his final days. I chose to come home from London and rent an apartment locally for a few months – but that weekend planned two nights away with my college friends. I needed some time away from the 12 hour hospital shifts and my mom so desperately wanted me to get away, relax and laugh with my dear friends.  It took a kind Aunt who is so connected to the family, to look at the situation and tell me once I landed after the short flight to, “come back home Rachel, he isn’t doing well.” For that truth, I am ever grateful.  I got hours with my dad and I will never forget them.

Secondly – this guest shared his story with me.  What strength that took for him to be honest with me, to bring up a very hard situation and to be real.  We all go about our days interacting with people and may never know what they are going through.  He had every right to be short with me, to be rushed and dismissive.  To be angry and take that out on those around him.  But he chose honesty.

It was a beautiful moment – and I cried with him.