A Love Story

I peeked inside the bathroom to see three neat rows of medications, drops, and lotions. It seemed excessive for our 3 day stay in Florida.

It’s hard to believe we are in our 60’s.

The reunion was spur of the moment and planned quickly so that we (former WMU roommates and friends) could visit our dear friend having chemotherapy treatments.

We arrived in Florida from different parts of the US to dance a little with our friend and cheer her up.

Well, we would have danced, but half of us have had back surgeries and sitting in a chair is sometimes an ordeal.

We spent hours laughing and reminiscing. We shared secrets and rehashed stories that made us double over with laughter.

It was not a time to mope. We were celebrating who we are right now.

The message is so crystal clear.

As we split up to fly back to our homes, we were smiling women. We had created a circle of love and had successfully carried it out.

We had talked about the unknown. We shared positive and up lifting stories.

My story was about pennies. They are almost an unknown currency these days, yet whenever I feel particularly in need of calm, I ask to find one. I just say: “Man, I need a penny today.”

I want to say that I leaned right over as I was sharing and picked one up, but it doesn’t work that way. It is not cheaply given and often takes my breath away. The Universe is a wonderful jokester. There was no penny when I left the group.

So, I am the one who lives in the center of the tundra snow belt of Michigan. I don’t like winter, but will tolerate it for a bit yet.

Flying was a mess yesterday.

My first flight had been canceled. My next flight took me into O’Hare with 20 minutes to make it to the terminal across the airport. Don’t worry, the flight attendant said, that flight will surely be late as well.

It was.

Starting at 3:20 my flight was delayed in increments of 10 or 15 minutes until eventually it was due to leave at 7:36. Mind you, I had been in airports since 9:00 am and there were others much worse off. I was tired but not grumpy.

The “F” terminal was loaded with people. There were no chairs and many people were sitting on the floor. I befriended a couple next to me. The man had a righteous beard and his lady was tatted. They were interesting and kind. We had some laughs at our own dilemmas. But most remarkable was that, for the 300+ people crammed into unexpected and unwanted delays, the people never argued. They groaned, sure, but people were talking to each other.

We became sojourners on this precarious weather situation, together. We had some kind of pathetic bond.

I talked to a group of ladies that were headed to Akron. They too had been rerouted and delayed and all were actually on the plane when they were told to deplane because the door of the plane wouldn’t shut.

And they were GRACEFUL in their defeated takeoff.

“What are you gonna do?” they said.

When finally, our plane arrived, we sat on the runway, in the dark, another half hour waiting for clearance to take off. We were bone tired and I was anxiously awaiting this flight over Lake Michigan in, what I had heard, was Lake Effect snow and knew we would be driving another hour or so.

But you wouldn’t have believed the lights of Chicago in that crystal clear sky. They twinkled like Christmas lights against the blackness of Lake Michigan. I had never seen something so beautiful. It was like a gift.

Yes, it was a little hairy over the Lake, but the pilot was top notch and we landed 20 minutes after takeoff. Right. The 20 minute flight that took almost 5 hours.

I was itching to be off that plane. I wanted to be home.

The couple across from me stepped into the aisle and, as I made my way to get in step behind them, I looked down to lug my suitcase into the aisle, and ...there was my penny.

All by itself and taking my breath away. I instantly felt remembered and cared for.

There is so much power in love.

There is so much warmth in human understanding.

Love does make the world go round.

Happy Valentine’s Day

Thanks for listening.

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