Actually, I’m not sure if I would call Charlotte, North Carolina paradise. In fact, last night, it seemed rather the opposite. As its morning now, things are looking a bit brighter but if that was all I talked about, I wouldn’t have much of a story.
Last night I landed in Charlotte at 9:45. I had one more flight and I would finally be back in Virginia with Wesley. To say that I had planned on being a ‘clinging vine’ (Cheaper by the Dozen) might be an understatement. I glanced at my ticket for the next flight and was a bit troubled to see that I had a 35 minute lay-over. Charlotte is not a small, concise airport and I knew I’d have to run.
The seat belt sign went off and we all stood and began collecting our belongings. But no one went anywhere. A message from the caption informed us that the operator on the ground was having trouble getting the jet way connected to the plane.
We sat on that dumb plane for 25 minutes until someone finally figured out how to connect the dumb thing. It was 10:12 and by this time, it was a surety that most of us had missed our connecting flight but I still took off for my gate. After a mile or so run to my next gate, I arrived panting and gasped ‘Charlottesville?’
The lady went to the door and hollered something and came back and informed me that the flight was closed. I think I begged, ‘Please, please.’ But she was already boarding another flight and didn’t offer much. I stood back, choking back tears, and watched a fellow passenger charge up to the desk inquiring after Charlottesville. No go.
After a few minutes, they were able to help us and put us on flights for the following morning. My fellow passenger Elizabeth (an older lady with a lovely accent) was relieved someone would share her misery.
I arrived at the customer service station a bit after her, sat on my suitcase in a huge long line, and dissolved. I’m sure I made quite the pathetic sight. But it was around this time that I knew God was telling me, ‘you’re not alone, I’m still taking care of you.’
I ceased weeping for a moment and Elizabeth peered from behind a customer to tell me, ‘When I get up to the desk, you come with me so we can get a hotel and taxi together. When I get outside, I want some support.’ I wasn’t sure if she thought she needed me or knew I needed her. Her kindness dissolved me once again I continued to weep on my suitcase.
About this time, a two year old boy in a stroller in front of me noticed me and started cheerily waving to me and then, began blowing numerous kisses my way. I waterly waved and blew kisses back. Then I wiped my eyes. And he wiped his. And I scratched my arm, and he scratched his. Then I clasped my hands together and he clasped his. Then threw his head back and laughed and laughed.
Somewhere along the line, I dissolved again and the little boy asked his mom what was wrong with me. She told him I was tired and then rummaged for a good few minutes in her luggage then procuring a package of kleenex for me.
I honked and blew and finally got myself somewhat under control. I stood up and tried to look respectable. But then this gentleman (around my Dad’s age with ‘a very nice face’ as Elizabeth later remarked) very kindly and gently asked me what my deal was. Accept he didn’t use those words. I immediately watered up, looked at him and informed him that I was going to cry again. He just kindly smiled and murmured something nice that I can’t remember. So I told him I had been away from my husband for a week and was very ready to be back with him.
He told me that my tears just showed everyone how much I loved my husband and how this would help me appreciated him more. I told him I’d been appreciating all week and was ready to stop. Around this time, my little friend started playing peek-abo with me and the gentleman laughed and said, ‘ well maybe this is why you’re here.’
Elizabeth and I made it to the shuttle bus and who should join us but my kind father figure. It was another nudge from God. Elizabeth and I chatted on the way to the hotel and we were finally all sent to our rooms.
Just to top off the night, I arrived at my door and attempted to unlock the thing for five minutes. After I was sure it was not human error, I traveled down the elevator to get a new room only to discover Elizabeth in the hall. She gave me this look and said, ‘Is your bed not made either?’ I told her my story and we laughed and shook our heads.
After breakfasting together and traveling through the airport, Elizabeth and I arrived at our gate. All looks well and we’re both anxious to arrive at our final destination. And I’m extremely grateful for these kind people who I was able to lean on. And for Wesley, who was a source of strength from miles away.
Thanks for all you prayers. I’m ok.