It’s my half birthday, I can’t believe I’m 6 months away from the next decade of my life.
I spent the day on a plane sitting between an 82 year old mother and her nearly 60 year old daughter, but it was a struggle getting on the flight.
My sister and I always try to coordinate our flights so there is less travel to and from the airport. Today I was the early flight which means she had to sit around and wait.
I on the other hand, was cutting it close. i had 45 minutes which I thought was plenty of time, but I was wrong.
I grabbed my boarding pass and headed straight for the very long security line.
By the time I made it up to the xray machine I had everything ready… liquids and gels… check! laptop… check! Shoes and jacket off… check!
I was in good shape, but when I got to my turn in line everything came to a screeching halt.
The security guard either wasn’t paying attention or he was on a power trip because he kept asking questions about very obvious things.
‘Do you have any liquids, gels, or lotions?’
‘Yes, they are right here in this bag’
‘Where is your laptop?’
‘It’s right here in this separate plastic bin’
All the while I am watching the clock tick down to my flight time.
I’m perfectly calm, just a tad bit annoyed…. then he said ‘come on… smile!’ Are you kidding me?? Bizarro world!
When I made it through security another security guard was trying to read the label in my shoe. I have no idea what in the world is going on at this point, but I looked up and saw my sister and the distraction was nice.
I gathered my belongings and started off toward the gate, by the time we found it I looked at the boarding signs and they were boarding C #’s…. all that work to get a B boarding number went to waste. I was at the end of the line.
By the time I got on the plane there was no room in the overhead bins so I took the first available seat and I landed between the mother and daughter pair.
They were a nice pair of ladies and it was nice to bond with a couple midwesterners.
Toward the end of the flight the inevitable questions came up. ‘what do you do?’ so we filled each other in on our work and then the daughter started talking about her husband who had recently passed on.
I felt compelled to tell her about my experience. For some reason in my head I feel maybe it’s comforting for them to know they aren’t alone, that someone understands and can empathize.
But it is a little weird that’s for sure, not many people bond with complete strangers over death…. on a plane of all places… a plane!
On the way to my parents house the lady next to me had to do the cross sign and say a prayer before giving a white knuckle grip on the arm rest as we were landing…. a plane is not the greatest place to mention death.
But… I did… at least I wasn’t the first one to bring it up.
As I walked off the plane she was waiting for her mother who was behind me…. and she looked at me and said ‘take care of yourself’ and I knew it was more than just a phrase you say, she really meant it.
I responded with ‘good luck to you’ and we left it at that. The unspoken words within our pleasantries were enough to calm our minds and bond us i some strange way.
On this six month mark of the last year ini my 30’s it gives me all the more reason to live it up these next few months.