Every once in a while you meet an exceptional person who inspires you or makes an impact on you for the rest of your life. That is exactly what happened to me on August 10, 2017, onboard American Airlines, flight 2634 from Chicago to Fort Myers,
I misunderstood the Captain’s announcement that it was someone’s birthday and thought he was talking about one of the flight attendants. I later got out of my seat and met the flight attendant that I thought was her birthday. I said, “Is it your birthday today?” She said in a jovial way, “No, my birthday was in July and I turned 76.” I thought she was joking and said, “How old did you say you were?” She said again, “I’m 76 and hope to be doing this job until I’m 80!”
Mary had a magnetic personality and I was immediately intrigued to find out more about her.
Mary was happy to share that she has been working for American Airlines for 35 years and only became a flight attendant at the age of 54. She said that at the age of 76, she is the 3rd oldest flight attendant working for American Airlines.
Mary expressed that her life is blessed, and said that she loves to meet people, which is obvious by her natural warmth and friendly demeanor. Mary said “Age is only a number.”, and went on to say that she enjoys skydiving, parasailing, and golf. On Mary’s time off, she volunteers with a local hospice center and Alzheimer’s organization in Fort Worth Texas.
Mary’s life story inspired me greatly. She is truly living an authentic life of serving others. She has a wonderful attitude about life and sees each day as an adventure. Mary said that each morning she wakes up and hopes that she can inspire someone. Well on August 10, 2017, Mary truly inspired me in more ways than she will ever know. I have no doubt she will reach her goal of working with American Airlines until the age of 80, and that she will go on to inspire many others.
I also want to give American Airlines a huge thumbs up for hiring Mary at the age of 54. She is truly one of their greatest assets.
I hope someday that our life paths will cross again somewhere in this world, and that Mary will say to me, “I turned 80 and hope to work until I’m 85!”
Keep flying high Mary, wishing you all the best!