Once again, I have been reminded of the fact that we just never know what we're going to face in any given day. We have zero idea who we're going to be around, what they are going through, where they are headed, or precisely how things are going to play out.
I have met some of the nicest people in my life. Today, I had a couple of guys actually ask me how my day was going. It's not that unusual, but fairly so. They were so friendly, polite and smiling. They wanted to know where I'd been that day, where I was going to overnight, and how my Monday was going. And that's the reason I love some scant parts of this human race so much -- because of people like these guys. I could have breezed over it, continued right on in my flight attendant mode, and simply said "Fine, thank you." But I stopped, answered their questions, and turned around and ask them the same thing. That's how I choose to do business.
And yesterday was a sad day. My flight from San Jose to Seattle included a mother. A mom who was, perhaps, 50. Asking me for a cracker or little snack of some kind because she had not had a chance to eat yet. Honestly, these sorts of requests are fairly routine -- and I often give them something if I have it but sometimes I just wonder what in the world they are thinking -- if you're hungry, eat! Get up in time to actually get yourself a snack, for god's sake. Back to the Mom. She had a son in Seattle who was dying she tells me. Today. Yes, today. They were keeping him on life support only until she could get to the hospital in Seattle to say her goodbyes to him. I refused to make her turn off her cell phone when she should have been doing so. I guess it was her call to the nurse who was attending to her son that did it for me -- "Promise me that you're keeping him alive until I can get there....you are...right?" Yeah, she could pretty much do whatever she wanted and it would have been alright with me. She cried. I cried. I put my hand on her arm and told her that I would be thinking about her. She said she appreciated it and asked for my prayers. I promised. And off she went once we reached Seattle. To see her dying son. I suppose he's gone by now. A mother left alone. That's just not right.
And then the very next flight, another woman with a typed note on her passenger service record which read: "Her mother died today." Well golly gee now, just like that. Her mother had died and now she was on my flight trying to get to Ontario, California, to attend to her duties. She slept the whole way. Rightfully so.
I do my best to keep an open mind. I achieve it sometimes. I fail miserably many times. Part of the learning process, I presume.