I love airports. They’re always bustling with activity. You know what they’re also filled with?
People on a journey.
Not just a departure and arrival journey but also a journey in life. Each and every person is on a personal journey that is as unique as the person.
I surveyed the Chili’s Too that has been in Concourse A for as long as I’ve been flying to see if there is a hostess or where I should sit to eat some lunch before I get on the plane.
“You can sit here if you’d like.”
Her words broke the silence and caught my attention. My kind waitress greeted me with a smile and gestured towards an open seat at the bar.
I sat down and began to look through the menu. It wasn’t much longer when someone came to sit next to me. I looked over and smiled at the woman. Clearly a Buckeye fan with her “365 Days We Bleed Scarlet and Gray” shirt on.
She placed her bar order and the waitress asked, “Double?”
“Why not! It’s the last day of vacation.” She said with a grin.
We chuckled together and I said, “Well, if it is the last day of vacation then you might as well end it with a bang! This opened up the opportunity to begin to share. We talked about where we were respectively from. Where we’re traveling. Why we’re traveling.
“Where are you off to?” I think my shorts and tee shirt gave it away that I wasn’t off on business.
“I’m on my way to Atlanta to help a friend and his family move from Atlanta to San Antonio.” I said very nonchalantly.
I looked up from the menu and she looked a little perplexed why my friend was having someone from Ohio help him move. So I kept talking,
“In February he was diagnosed suddenly with Brain Cancer and has decided to move to San Antonio where his parents live. He had a seizure and can’t drive temporarily so I’m going to be driving their second car.”
There was silence. Something I had shared in my story had clearly touched this lady sitting next to me.
“You are such a great friend.” She managed to stammer out still sitting there a bit in shock at my story.
“You know, one of the kids in my class at school where I teach, his dad was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. It reminds me that life is short.”
She made some joke about making the most of every day with her double drink.
I looked at her and said, “This year I’ve learned the value of making moments count. After one of my best friends lost his little brother unexpectedly and my friend Scott being diagnosed with cancer, I vow to make the most of every day.”
She paused and I’d like to think that something I said in there resonated with her.
At this point a third had joined our group and we began to talk about work and his interesting life on the road as a truck driver.
The three of us, all unknown strangers, laughed together, shared stories, talked about our past and present, and for a few minutes all of our unique journeys intersected. We had a moment. As fast as it began it was time for us to part ways.
The gentleman wished me well in my travels and took off for his gate. The lady who first sat down stopped and waited for me to turn to look at her.
“You are a great friend. Please let your friend and his family know that they’re in my thoughts.”
She then paused and looked at me for a moment. You could tell she was contemplating saying something else so I didn’t say anything but wasn’t sure how I would react… I just waited in the moment.
“I am going to pray for him and for your travel. Be safe in your travels and on your drive to San Antonio.”
I said thank you and told her that I would pass along the message and with that the moment was over and we were off to our respective gates.
You know what I find so interesting about this small interaction? If I would have eaten somewhere else, been to the airport an hour later, not sat at the bar, not said anything to her etc… that moment would have never happened.
Was just a nice way to start my journey this week and I felt I should share it with you all.
Until next time!