Dave is a great Grandfather

I sat next to a man on a plane recently, who began the conversation with. "Hello Mary, I know who you are." Whenever this happens, I immediately think, oh shit, here we go.

This was not one of those times. Dave started a polite chit chat conversation, asking why I was going where I was going, etc. After we got the pleasantries out of the way and after some humorous banter, he told me about his grandson who committed suicide a year ago. He committed suicide because he was scared about "coming out" to his family. While this complete stranger was telling me, this heart-breaking story I had to hold back the tears. For those who know me well, you know I am teary and emotional at times.

I was captivated by Dave’s courage and determination to fly the flag for equality and diversity. This is a legacy he feels important to share.

We landed at our destination, we exchanged business cards and I asked Dave to stay in touch with me. I’ve yet to get contact from him, but writing this post has got me thinking and I may just send him a note.

I haven’t forgotten about this conversation and it keeps me grounded and on track whenever I think about it.  As I reflect, I'm so thankful and grateful for my life and the positive, influential people I have around me. Being “Mary” isn’t easy, I struggle some days, in fact, some days I don’t want to leave the house. Not often, but it happens.

Always be true to you and those around you and always reach out to ask for help. You're never alone. I think it is also important to remember, that not everyone has to be off the hook amazing, it’s ok to have bad days – we all do.

Arohanui Mary xx