Cancun to Salt Lake City edition.

I’ve spent some hours in different airports this week. Today I was so nervous that I would be late for my flight, that I gave myself five hours, my friends, to get to the airport just 47 minutes away. It’s a smallish airport in Cancun. I wandered up and down the terminal for an hour before I decided to sit down. Without internet, and with no appetite for airport food, I wasn’t sure what else to do with my time. I started people-watching.

When I was a young mom, I used to travel a lot because Bry wasn’t home very often, and the younger children flew for free on my lap. I think we did almost 40 flights before Ella turned two years old. I remember one particular flight, though. Ella was probably 4 years old at the time, Liam was barely one, and I was probably 6 or 7 months pregnant with Jono. I didn’t think we could afford to check luggage, and so I packed two very heavy carry-ons, with all our family’s affects, and two very large “personal bags”.

I didn’t have a stroller. Getting through security was physically and emotionally exhausting, but then the gate we were assigned to depart from was the furthest gate in that international airport. Picture it. Me, largely pregnant, carrying a 20 pound bag on each shoulder, pulling a heavy carry-on with one arm, hefting a not-yet-mobile one year old with the other arm, trying to convince a very very tired four year old to pull the other heavy suitcase just 20 more feet before we would stop to rest again. That is how it went. Every 20-40 feet through the entire terminal, we would pull and push, and then literally sit on the floor to rest before going the next stretch.

What gratitude I would have felt if anyone would have stopped to help. I was hurting so much. Unreal. But not a single person, out of the 100-200 people who passed me that day in the airport, asked if they could help me in any way. I was alone, literally crying on the hard floor of the airport.

Okay. I am making myself cry again, just remembering my desperate condition. Ha ha. Why didn’t anyone stop to help me? I don’t know. But I do believe that everything in my life in rigged in my favor. Maybe the “suffering” softened me to others suffering. Because, to this day, I cannot walk through an airport without looking for THAT mom. The one who’s child can’t keep up. The one who’s suitcase is too heavy. The one who’s crying baby needs a smile and a peek-a-boo. The one who needs to know that there is a God and He loves them, and that they will get through this, and through more than this. Maybe that is why no one helped me that day.

Why, 10 years later, when I was weeping and wailing in my white van on the front driveway, when I learned about my parents divorce, praying and pleading with the Lord to send someone – anyone – to call me, to be with me, why no one called. No one. Maybe the lonely tears that day softened my heart to others’ lonely tears. Whenever someone’s face comes to my mind, since that day, I call them or text them immediately, just in case they’re sitting in their car weeping, pleading with the Lord.

I board in 90 minutes. I am going to go find THAT mom, or THAT lonely person. I will say a prayer in my heart, and then I will go answer someone’s prayer, God willing.

Previous DAY #114 EMOTIONAL ADULTHOOD (again)

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