Today, I met a woman with a tragically beautiful story.
I boarded a discount flight this morning from Concord, NC, to Sanford, FL, and sat next to a woman who was trying to keep her daughter with special needs occupied in the seat on the other side of her.
I quickly took my seat — I get anxious if there are people behind me in the airplane aisle and I feel like I’m holding them up. The woman, who had her back turned to me, spun around and greeted me with a kind smile and a hello before turning back to her daughter.
Shortly after take off, it became apparent that the two older children in the seats behind us were hers as well.
Typically, I don’t speak to someone I don’t know unless they engage with me first. And that’s just what this woman did.
She asked if I was traveling alone today and I told her yes. She asked if I’m from Concord and I responded with “Yeah, kind of. I live in the Charlotte area, but this is my first time flying out of Concord.” Looking back, that response makes absolutely no sense in relation to her question.
She introduced herself and her daughter, and the little girl stretched her hand in front of her mothers body to shake my hand in a very polite nice-to-meet-you fashion.
Side note: Flying out of Concord Regional Airport has been an experience in itself — one “terminal” in a tin building and the bathroom is a portable toilet on wheels out back. We boarded the plane on the Tarmac. I was told that this is only temporary and a new facility will open in September.
The woman shared that this is her children’s first time flying at all and her first time flying out of Concord, too.
She then offered up information that broke my heart and made me smile at the same time. Her husband passed away at Easter and she has made it a point to keep her children busy since then — to just keep them moving. So, this week they are traveling to Disney World for a few days.
Continue reading “What a complete stranger taught me about grief and losing someone you love “