This I Believe

Jillian - Grand Juntion, Colorado
Entered on April 11, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
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Last night as I was traveling home from a business meeting, I boarded a small prop plane leaving from Denver going to Grand Junction. These planes are very small and the seats are so close to each other. I usually try not to make eye contact with my seat partner because I don’t really want to chat for an hour home. So, I bury my head in a magazine and hope for the best. Well, last night a girl sat next to me and immediately stuck out her hand and said, “Hi, I’m Linda, what’s your name?” Great, I thought, here we go. I politely shook her hand and told her my name and went back to pretending I was engrossed in a fascinating article. But, no, she started talking to me again. Asking where I was going, where did I come from, do I like to fly and on and on. She looked to be in her 20’s but I could tell she was a little slow and probably had the mentality of a 10 year old. Obviously, my intentions of silence during the trip was not going to happen and I thought maybe if I made small talk for a few minutes she would get it out of her system and then leave me alone. After all, I deserved to have peace and quiet and if I didn’t want to converse with anyone, I didn’t have to! I put a polite smile on my face, turned to her and asked; “So where are you going?”

She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said; “My father died two days ago and we are taking his body back to Grand Junction for the funeral.” Her mother and sister were in the front of the plane and when they had made their reservations they were unable to all sit together. My heart broke. I took her hand and patted it and told her how sorry I was she was having to go through this. I told her I had lost my father a few years ago and how it effected my life. She showed me pictures of her dad and talked about him most of the trip. I listened intently and asked her questions and kept her talking until we landed. Just before the plane touched down she turned to me and asked; “Are you an angel?”

It was my turn to get teary. I told her no, just someone who cares.

When we got off the plane she ran over to her mom and brought her over and introduced me to her. I gave her my condolences, hugged Linda and I left to get my baggage while they waited by the plane to unload the casket.

It was an amazing experience. It made me realize once again that if we just keep our eyes open around us and stop being so concerned about ourselves, we all the ability to reach out and touch a passing life. And yes, we are all angels in some respect when we allow ourselves to be.