May 9, 2009

Day 5 New Friend- So many Brads'

Home again home again jiggety-jig! I nearly didn’t make it on my plane today. The airline lost my reservation. I stood at the check-in counter, while the flustered ticket agent went round and round with someone on the other end of the phone. When I fly home, I must touch down by 9:00 p.m. The border crossing into Canada closes at 12:00 midnight. It takes 3 hours to get to the crossing from Spokane where I land State side. As I stood at the counter the time tick tick ticked, at I began to realize I wouldn’t make the flight if I waited any longer, so I purchased a full fair ticket and told her I would sort it out on the other side. I ran full out to the gate to find out that the flight had been over sold and I wouldn’t make it on anyway. This is when the tears began to threaten. I have been told that I am about the most relaxed traveller there is. I didn’t get angry at the reservation being lost, cheerfully found my own solution to getting on the flight by buying a new ticket, said I would take care of refunding it myself later. I just wanted to get home in time to get across the border, to be able to fall asleep in my own bed and wake up to a delicious Mothers Days breakfast in bed of cold runny eggs and soggy warm bread. Mothers Day is by far one of the most fantastic days of my year. My children almost always make me something at school, and as they go to a Waldorf School this means the loot is generally very well made and filled with love. After making it all the way to the gate with a ticket in hand this womyn was still telling me I would not get on my flight, that instead I would be put on another that would get in after 9 p.m., my heart was breaking. I was imagining their disappointed faces at finding out I would not be home. Worse was how I imagined they would be so strong, say it was ok, they understood, all the while poking down their feelings of abandonment. So you know what I did? I just didn’t believe it. I saw myself getting on the plane, imagined myself walking down the gangway within the next 10 minutes. I did not get angry with the Southwest representative, I could see she too was frustrated. All I said was “Please get me on, I need to get home to my kids for Mothers Day, this flight is my only chance!”. I could see in her face she wanted to help, but didn’t know how she could. “We are missing 7 passengers”, came the voice over the intercom. She looked more excited than I did! she says “Did you hear that? Let’s go!” she took me over to the gate, smiled and said. “Happy Mothers Day!”. So here I sit, on my original flight. I will touch down in Spokane with plenty of time to get something to eat, drive back to my home country, slip under the covers, fall fast asleep, and wake up to 3 wonderful girls jumping into my bed to tell me I am the best mama in the world. I am not sure if they are right but I do know I have the best kids in the world...ya I know I am bias, but I don’t really care.

On the plane I sat next to a man named Brad. We spoke nearly the whole plane ride. He and his wife were going to see the eldest of their 5 sons for Mothers Day. I enjoyed speaking with brad, he told me stories which I will likely never hear the likes of again, at least not in person. He flew for the US Navy in World War 2, stationed out of Pearl Harbor. When he returned from the war, he found that his wife had chosen to move on. He said to me “I got a Dear John letter...I didn’t even know what a Dear John letter was...didn’t stop me from getting one though!”. He married again about a year and a half later to Cheryl, the womyn who sat on my right reading and occasionally confirming the odd bit of information Brad had forgotten. He and Cheryl had been married 63 years. When it came time to order our drinks Brad ordered white wine with ice. Cheryl tells me that he never ordered alcohol on flights before and certainly she had never known him to drink white wine, this was his second of the day. Nice to know that after 63 years there are still surprises. Brad was sharp, but being 93 he didn’t understand the concept of blogging. So when he asked for clarification about what I was writing. I said I was doing research and writing about it. He asked if I was going to write a book. Before I even really thought about the answer I said yes. He gave me his full name, address and phone number and told me, “Well you better hurry up and write it, I want to read it before I die, and at 93 I haven’t got much time left!”. Ok’s a deal.

I left 12 days journal # 26 in the back pocket of my seat on Southwest flight 2816. I asked Brad if he would like to take it but he said he didn’t “do all that stuff”, meaning anything to do with computers. The question inside the front cover was inspired by this stranger who I met today, it reads “How long do you believe you will live? Why?”.

1 comment:

  1. I believe I will live to Brad's age, at least, because I have way too many things to do in this lifetime to get accomplished any sooner than that.