A group of long-time Writing Your Life class members—Beverly Bailey, Robin Ogilvie, Diane Gosheff, Loyd Gilley and his wife Marilyn, my husband Bob and I—gathered on the veranda (I have to use veranda. Porch just doesn’t cut it for a night like this.) of the Lakeside Inn in Mt. Dora, watching the sun set, enjoying great company and wonderful meals.
We gathered last Friday evening to celebrate and support class member Cheryl Floyd as she shared her story, “What’s Love Got to Do with It” at the Florida Storytelling Festival held on the hotel’s grounds.
At times, we have the chance to witness an event that’s truly remarkable; one that stays with us for days; one that is beautiful, humorous, painful; one that earns the spontaneous response of palpable silence.
Such an event happened for me and an audience of sixty or more while watching Cheryl perform that night.
Cheryl told us a love story, which began in the days of tie-dyed, bell-bottomed pants, dancing to tunes at a local watering hole, and a literal fork in the road that led her back to her South Louisiana home and the arms of her future husband, Rod. We all tagged along for the ride as Cheryl and Rod lived their lives, had children, moved to Florida, started a business, welcomed grandchildren, and navigated the normal stresses and strife inherent in any life. Then, after thirty-seven years of marriage and looking forward to their retirement years together, came Rod’s tragic death on January 15, 2016.
When posed again, what’s love got to do with it, Cheryl concluded, everything as she consciously chooses to keep her heart open and love mightily.
Here are a few more photos of a fun and powerful night: