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Monday, December 17, 2007

My Flight Companion...


On the long leg of my trip from Honolulu to Chicago, I upgraded my seat at check-in to one with 5 inches more of legroom on United. It cost me some money but I knew it would be well worth it on such a long trip. I ended up sitting next to a woman, who lived in Honolulu, but who was originally from Montana. She had upgraded her seat at the last minute too and we ended up seated together. She was also headed ultimately to D.C. for a presentation like me. After bonding through small conversation, we both opened up. You had been through so much in your life. From a painful first marriage to ending up divorced with your two small girls. Out on your own and alone, now a single mother. To your brother's return home from Vietnam, only to be brutally murdered just months later, leaving you without family and support. The loss of yourself, and gradual rediscovery and reawakening of your spirituality was inspiring. The grace and dignity in which you handle your current medical challenges. The joy of meeting your new husband and acceptance of your beautiful grown daughters, now my age. Sharing a son together, already now 18. Decades of a new life. Your selfless giving for women and children in social services. Your outlook on life, on love, caring, compassion, giving and spiritual renewal. Mahalo for sharing your sandwich with me. I knew at that point, that no matter what happened on the rest of my trip, that it was already life affirming and a success because of you. I found these tiny lavender blossoms outside of the National Museum of the American Indian. Like my lucky find of gorgeous color in the midst of a gray and brown Winter landscape, I was fortunate to find you in a crowded plane of passengers. Don't ever feel years beyond your prime as age sets in. Your radiant spirit makes you a more beautiful woman than you will ever, ever know...

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