Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Strangers on a Plane

When I was a kid...this one time at church camp...we made a habit of giving each others warm fuzzies. In our case, it was usually a shoulder rub - but in general it is doing something that makes another feel better.

Life gave me a warm fuzzy the other day. I was traveling home to Houston. Seated in my awesome aisle seat ready to go,when the pilot announced that we must sit there a while longer because of weather along our route. At which point the two men next to me started talking...and talking...honestly I was amazed at the lack of breaths they took. But their constant chatting and sitting on the tarmac made me cranky.

After take off, the younger guy sitting next to me, finally put his head on his tray table, declined food and went to sleep. I watched as his face slowly turned red and his body started to twitch. This kid was getting sick. In my not so happy mood, I determined that he must have e-coli and we were all going to die. I mourned the little boy sitting in the seat a head of us. Then the inevitable happened. The airsick bag did it's job.

The guy then looked at me, apologized and asked if I could get a flight attendant. I rounded up an attendant and he apologized to me again. I told him not to worry about it, that I was a Mom and could handle it. He asked the ages of my kids. After I told him they were 14 and 18, he shared that he too was 18. He had been traveling for 20 hours from Norway to get home to Phoenix.

At that moment, he stopped being a random traveler, and became someones son. He could be my son traveling between Marine bases. when his next request came...."Would you mind if I put my head on your leg?" I had to say yes. This poor sick kid needed to lay down, he needed a mom.

That is how we landed in Houston. His head in my lap and me rubbing his back. A weird sort of bond with stranger on a plane. I was not a cranky traveler when I got home. Life had forced me to connect with another human being, and I felt better.

So the next time that you seem to be sitting on the tarmac, open your heart and see what the universe hands you.

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