We all know who they are. The history teacher who made you believe you were smart enough to go to college. The coach who made you better than you thought you could ever be. Your five year old child who taught you how to deal with grief when your dad passed away.
For Paula Weatherly, it was her husband of 30 years, Philip Todd Weatherly. For me, it’s Paula as well as Phil. Phil had departed this life by the time she woke up Monday morning after doing really well over the 4th of July holiday weekend, joking and enjoying his family as he always did. When we spoke the next day, in one breath she was saying she didn’t know how she could possibly live without him. In the next, she said she chooses to thank God for the time they had together…all 30 years of it…and she refuses to complain about the time they won’t have. Having talked with Paula many times since Phil was diagnosed with cancer a few months ago, I knew she loved him more than life itself. To hear her make that statement humbled me immensely as I thought about all the reasons I can find to complain about something.
Phil came to Hendersonville, Tennessee for his dealer training and the Rhoades Car experience as we like to call it. He spent the night at the Rhoades Car lodge and couldn’t say enough great things about the steak dinner he enjoyed.
After a full day of dealer training, we found time for a tour of Hendersonville before his plane left the next day. We laughed for hours as he found plenty to say about my Nascar driving!
After he left, Bill and I were inspired and uplifted by the sheer joy that emanated from this man. He was our newest dealer, and yet we felt as though he was an old friend. The terrible illness that took his life did nothing to dampen his joy. He had a large family and was extremely busy as he balanced his family time with his equipment rental business and with his Rhoades Car dealership. Yet he never made us feel rushed or minimized when we called him. He was one of those rare individuals who truly had enough love to go around. Here he is with Tripp and Charlee, his son Brandon’s children and Addy, who belongs to his daughter Cathryn…
When someone like Phil Weatherly passes from this life to the next, I think the most important lesson they would impart to us if they could is for us to appreciate the people in our lives today.
Phyllis Shelton, VP of Marketing, Rhoades Car