I met a fascinating man on a bench two Saturdays ago and he introduced me to rice pudding porridge.
Then, he taught me, like so many others had, about how to LIVE honestly, bravely and joyfully in a finite world.
Trent Cole. First, I saw his name on a plaque on 14th Street, then I took his menu recommendation and now I am attempting to adopt his life philosophy.
The bench plaque read: “Trent loved life, laughter and Fletcher’s rice pudding porridge. Live life with gratitude. Trent did. Au Revoir.”
Of course, I ordered the porridge and oh! man! it was delicious.
I came home and looked him up. You’re gonna love this man. Are you ready?
He grew up in a small town in Iowa and was, for the first seven years of his education, the only person in his grade. He earned an appointment to all four military academies, chose West Point and served honorably until a leg tumor ended his military career.
Then he turned his attention to the private sector, built a family and a thriving career in real estate and devoted himself to philanthropic endeavors and AA principles.
According to his obituary, he, Kathy, the love of his life, and Aussie the awesome terrier “biked, travelled the world, snowshoed, played tennis, golfed, shared laughter with each of you.”
That’s a pretty full life. But, there’s more and here’s what got me: When he heard he’d been diagnosed with ALS, Trent Cole said, “This is such an amazing disease and so appropriate for me to experience. I’m looking forward to learning all it has to offer.”
I’m going to continue my fascination with bench plaques and the people they celebrate and, while I do, I’m going to adopt Trent Cole’s philosophy of “embracing life’s challenges and joys, experiencing to the depth of our souls the gratitude for all we have, having fun with the process, and above all, remembering to ‘eat dessert first’.”