I arrived calm.
I was ok.
Surprisingly even after yet another goodbye to a best friend. (I know all to well what comes in the months ahead.)
I got to the airport two hours early so I called my Dad. It was nice to talk again. I think I’ve distanced myself. Especially after the realization that we don’t always fit into the life that is built around him. No one to blame or be angry with. Just that having full lives doesn’t lend for much time. Plus I do that thing. The pulling away thing when I feel like I might get hurt. I will beat you to it. Lol ridiculous notion my mind clings to. I have seen however, with Jason especially, that I no longer automatically run. I have the thought but it’s not instinctual or out of my range of choice.
The conversation my father and I had was more than healing. I love that authenticity is free flowing into many of my relationships and I am reaping the benefits. I was able to discuss work, relationships, kids, fears, accomplishments…. everything. I got validation surrounding my thoughts and emotions in this very raw state. Hearing your Dad say that he is “proud of you” after years of failing is indescribable. The gratitude I feel for this life that I have so earnestly fought for fluctuates as you all see. Yet I know how far I have truly come. It’s nice not to be alone in that. I feel so desperately alone often.
As he spoke I thought of another in the grips of grief. I am watching her push everyone and everything as far from her as possible. I listen to her lash out carelessly. Maybe in the hopes that if they are far enough then when, not “if” it’s WHEN, she loses them too maybe the pain will dull. God I remember those days all to well. As her grief pushes others away (successfully no less) I am drawn to others. To bring light and life back into the cavern of loss. I understand that living a real life is worth more than living in fear. I have done both time and time again. How do you tell someone older than you that you might actually have the answer? Would they even listen?
Hanging up the phone I glanced to my right and smiled at a stranger. “So they delayed the flight?” I said in a friendly tone. The woman glanced over with only side eyes. “I guess” she muttered. Humans are becoming cold as a whole. I refuse! I thought to myself. I will not be callused by you! Or forced to believe that smiling to strangers is somehow wrong.
Then my delayed flight changed gates for the fourth time. Walking towards B22 I saw a woman looking around panicked. I could not just walk by. “Are you looking for something?” “I lost my phone” she says trying to hide she is truly upset. “Can I help you look?” “Sure…. do you mind if I just text the phone so hopefully someone will read it?” “Of course” I replied. She looked at me shocked that I agreed. She texted away and tried to call a few more times. She was grateful. There is nothing better than being a human and receiving human in return. She said how she had come from Cali and because our flight was delayed she used the restroom, got a snack, and wandered around for awhile. Losing the phone along the way. I mentioned how long the trip from Cali to Baltimore must be having a connection flight and all. She laughed and said she met the most wonderful elderly couple. How she was able to help a woman recovering from surgery sitting next to her. That somehow it all felt worth it. When the conversation ended I opened my phone and there was her text. She was pleading for them to return the phone as her father is very ill and it was her only communication. My heart broke. I love how those who endure most also smile most.
While sitting in the airport STILL I listened to a husband argue with his wife about a PS4. I could literally hear her screaming. He is calm, probably because he is currently surrounded by people, but agitated. I can hear it in his breath. “Just walk away from it. It doesn’t matter. I will looked at it. It’s not important”
I laughed to myself as the thought crossed my mind to grab the phone and tell her to shut the fuck up. I wanted her to appreciate the sound of every exhale. The inflection in his voice as he attempted to change the subject. Hold on to each sigh. To understand he is still here. She can still change.
If she chooses.
Suddenly he starts laughing.
“I love you!” He yells in the silent concourse “I love you. That’s all the matters.”
Tears rolled down my cheeks. I thought of a million times I wish Dave would have done that. The trillion times I could have but didn’t.
Today has been emotionally challenging long before arriving at Midway but I am beyond grateful for the gifts of grief pouring into my life.
“Flight 522 to Baltimore is now boarding group B”