DFW to LBB



I was waiting on a short flight to Lubbock,
And there were some kind of maintenance problems and the flight was delayed.

These flights to a place where the flight attendants usually don’t even pronounce properly Are small. Tiny. Puddle Jumper flights where there is hardly even time for drink service.
Loud prop planes that make me a little bit nervous.
So the crowd waiting it out, in the sub-terminal wasn’t that big either.
Many of them started to chat and complain because it was before the time of iphones.

I was sitting away from the group. Mostly immersed in a book and partly people watching.
And I heard one of the women from the group awkwardly say she needed to get back today.
Soon.
Her father had passed away and she was anxious to be with her family.
The group awkwardly tried to comfort this stranger, but mostly she sat in silence.

After a long delay, the finally let us board the plane.
again it was tiny, with 2 on one side of the aisle and a single on the other.
I was hoping for a single or at least and aisle seat but got neither and settled in by the window and wondered who my seat mate would be.
I hoped they would be quiet and small and leave me to my book.

And then she sat down.
The one on her way to plan her father’s funeral.
I had especially hoped not to sit next to her.

And I felt bad and awkward and didn’t know what to say.
She didn’t know that I had overheard the reason for her trip.
So I didn’t say much.
I smiled politely, said hello and started back in on my book as the engines began to roar.

Sometime shortly after the captain told us we could briefly move about the cabin.
She took out a small photo of a man and began to look at it.
She didn’t say anything and she didn’t cry she just stared at this small piece of a man who was no longer there.
And I quietly closed the book.
And I still didn’t know what to say.
But I asked, ever so quietly, if this was her father.

She nodded her head.
And my tears began to fall.
And then hers did too.
And she started talking and remembering.
But mostly we just cried.
Together. Strangers.
For her father.

And an hour or so later the plane touched down.
And my heart was heavy and my eyes were red and puffy.
All for a woman whose name I didn’t even know.

As we waited for baggage.
We hugged awkwardly. I struggled to find comforting words.
But I don’t think my words mattered.
But I feel certain that my tears did.

And I learned a few things on that short flight.
Mostly that it doesn’t take much to help.
That you don’t need to know names or say the right words.
That you just need to be willing to put down your book and try.
To carry someone’s burden for a little while,
Or even for just a short bumpy flight.

5 comments:

Alisha said...

You never know, you might have been placed right then and there as an angel for her. Sometimes the most help comes from the least words. You're awesome, Michelle. :) God bless you.

Rudri said...

I am certain because of your willingness to listen and to comfort you helped her so much. Thanks for sharing this story.

I have a particular fondness for the abbreviation DFW - it is my hometown.

Rudri said...

I am certain because of your willingness to listen and to comfort you helped her so much. Thanks for sharing this story.

I have a particular fondness for the abbreviation DFW - it is my hometown.

Robin said...

"put down your book and try" -- that's going to be my motto for the day.

squeakycheez07 said...

Thanks for making my cry.