IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME..

 

His name was Wayne and I met him years ago at Manning Park, BC.  My mother-in-law has a cabin in Manning Park and my husband and I spent many weekends at the hill when the boys were younger teaching them how to ski.  Wayne was the bus driver, he drove guests from the hotel to the ski hill daily many times a day.  I never really had a chance to stop and talk to him at length as he was always dashing from here to there.  I would run into him on the way out of the cafeteria as he stopped for a quick coffee or on the way out of the ski school office as he gathered up his passengers.  Every time I walked past Wayne he would give me a huge smile and stop for a second to ask how I was doing, how Drew was doing and the boys – never once did he not stop.  After our ski day was done we would all pile into our vehicle and head down the narrow mountain road back to our cabin only to drive by Wayne in his bus as he was heading back to pick up the last group of skiers to take them back to the hotel.   He would whip right past us but not without a big smile, honk of the horn and a greeting.  That was Wayne, he was a bus driver during the winter and in the summer he worked in the park’s campgrounds.   While camping at Manning one summer, a staff vehicle pulled up to the site across from us and I noticed it was Wayne.  When he realized it was our family he gave us a big warm smile and came over to ensure we were all well.   After talking to Wayne you were always left with a special feeling, Wayne just had that way about him.  He was genuine, he wasn’t kissing your ass, he wasn’t phony, he wasn’t trying to find out the latest gossip, he was just a really nice guy.  A couple of weeks ago I was saddened to hear that he suffered a heart attack and passed away.   Wayne’s memorial was this past weekend and my mother-in-law attended.  When she got home, Sunday afternoon, she told me that the memorial was packed with people, “wall to wall of people” she said.  Staff members, customers, people from the area, people from far away – they all came.   My mother-in-law said that some of the staff of Manning were surprised that so many people came.  I burst out laughing and my mother-in-law laughed right along with me.  Society can be so trivial at times, people are impressed with positions, money, fame and so many people are only kind to people who can get them somewhere.  Wayne didn’t care who you were and he never worried about positions or money.    He genuinely liked people and people genuinely liked Wayne.  I didn’t even know Wayne’s last name until the memorial was announced on Facebook, but when someone mentioned Wayne at Manning  you just knew what Wayne they were talking about.  As my mother-in-law was waiting to enter the room where the memorial took place, she recognized the man standing beside her.  This man has been coming to Manning Park from the States for a ski vacation for years.   “I’m surprised to see you here” my mother-in-law said.  With tears in his eyes he said “I had to come.”  Wayne built a life out of love, kindness, simplicity, honesty, empathy, compassion and people came.

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