A bright eyed little boy boards the plane with his mother. He stops at every seat to tell his mama what number and letter is on the chair. The tired passengers on the plane are suddenly awake a cheer every time he gets one right. He already has a fan club. The mother pauses as she finds their seat. To make things easier on everyone she was hoping they wouldn't have to worry about a neighbor, but there is an old Indian lady sitting on the isle seat.
The woman must have seen the mothers hesitation and beams as she stands up and welcomes them to their seat. She is older. She is wearing a beautiful Indian outfit and gold. She looks frail and powerful at the same time. She is beautiful with a humble demeanor. She is one of a kind. Her voice was like a song as she bids her greeting.
The little boy tells her about the new car book his Mommy got him and how airplanes go up in the air- and also not to forget seat belts, so we can be safe. The woman smiles brilliantly, obviously pleased with her partners for the three hour flight.
The little boy plays his games and looks at his books as the mother and lady talk. They talk about India and her arrange marriage that has been a love of fairy tales. They talk about a young marriage that broke and a new life that was brought by a knight in shining armor. They talk about love, life and God.
"You are very nice. Would you like a cookie?" The little boy offers up a Thin Mint.
The Lady hesitates. "I would love one of your cookies and it is so sweet of you to offer me one, but I can not eat cookies."
"Oh, how very sad." came the serious reply.
The woman erupts in a melodic laughter. She was Hindu, and vegan. Meaning the sweet joy of a Girl Scout cookie was something she would not know. She informed the mother that she tries every moment of the day to be faithful to her religion and that her sweet blue eyed boy about made her crumble.
Meanwhile, the people in the isle in front of the happy trio are complaining about the little boy. He talks too much. He keeps moving around and bumping the seat. Does the mother not know how to control her child. Before the mother could hiss a reply to the grumpy passengers, the lady says, "How sad that some people can not find the beauty in the innocents and joy of a child. He is so well behaved and has such a gentle spirit. I have never seen a child fly so well. It is a shame that people must complain. I already love him as if he was my own blood. He has stole my heart and I can not see how any other heart would be so hardened to him."
Her quiet rebuke makes the chattering women silent. Before they can come up with a rebuttal a soldier chimes in.
"I have been over in the sandbox for the last 10 months. That little dude you are being such a jerk to gave me a Girl Scout cookie. Do you know how awesome that is? He just did his military a favor and I think people need to think their words and actions before my PTSD comes out." He winks at the mother as she stifles a laugh and the women jump at the thought. Other passengers chimed in to the boy and mothers defense.
The Lady laughs silently, then turns to the mother, "You are an amazing and righteous woman. Do not let anyone in your past, present or future tell you otherwise. You have raised you son in the ways of your God and do him honers by that. You can tell that your God is with you and your son. He is pure and lovely. Keep true to your God and continue to do for your children and you have been."
Do you know how beautiful that was to hear? Owen was oblivious to the battle that had just ensued. He was content pointing to where our house might be not realizing how many strangers loved him. How his small acts of kindness by offering his cookies or blanket to people, turned a dreaded flight into a joy. His love for life and laughter rang out through the plane and the people smiled.
Do you have any idea how good it felt to be confirmed by someone? To be told that they can see God in you. That you are raising your children right? To be loved for no reason.
The little boy started to squirm as the plane made its decent. "Mommy, I gotta go potty!"
"Baby, the plane is trying to land, we can't get up. Can you hold it?"
"Yes, Mommy, I will try."
The burly soldier chimed in, "Your right, little dude. I gotta go potty also! When we land, will you show me where the potty is? I am scared I will get lost."
"Yes sir! I know where it is!"
When the plane landed the soldier jumped up. "Sorry guys, but I have to clear the isle! The is a little man here who has to go potty and two lovely ladies (in reference to the Indian lady and mother) that have to escort him. Plus, I drank too much."
The cabin burst into laughter and gladly kept to their seats as the small family and now friends rushed to grab their belongings.
A kind word or gesture can change a persons day. Anyone who has flown knows there is no rushing off the plane. People bump and growl to get off, but one night before Easter, people gladly gave up a few minutes for one small boy. There are small joys in life we forget to see. Miracles are around us constantly, but our schedules, worries and everything else block our vision.
Her eyes were clear. She was so beautiful to me. She had been fighting different cancers for years. She was about to go in for another battle. As I said she was a vegan. She has never smoked or drank. There was no reason for her suffering. Instead of being bitter she was joyful. She was at peace. She reconfirmed my faith in God and gave me hope in humanity.
I pray I will see her again some day.