The Early Morning Ride…

The glow from the porch light warmed her features as it shone down upon her.  The air was musty and the scent was of freshly watered earth.

Her daughter was leaving again.  It always hurt her heart to see her depart.  These early morning trips via taxi cab always pulled on  her heartstrings like a taut violin.

Saying goodbye….did it ever get any easier?

When our loved one arrived, it felt like there was all the time in the world to spend together.  Yet here she was again, and the passage had passed like a shooting star, bright, and brilliant…then just gone.

One moment it was a bright flash of being and filled with such promise, and the next….passed into infinity.  It would never come  this way again.

Her Mother’s silver white hair framed her face, and created a halo effect under the glow of the porch light.  She stood alone in her light denim housecoat, and her feet were bare.  Her eyes were hidden beneath her glasses.

It was true she thought. ” parting is such sweet sorrow.”  No matter how long she lived, she would never grow accustomed to it.

I turned around and hugged her tightly, her body was frail, yet still strong.  I told her that I loved her, and she said that she loved me too.  There were bright tears in her clear blue eyes, that were threatening to spill out, as we separated.

The limousine driver greeted me with a ready smile, having already flung open the car door in anticipation of our trip.

I asked him, as he lifted my suitcase up, whether or not he thought it was heavier than the 50 lb weight restriction that was in effect at the airport.

He tested it in his hand, and with a twinkle in his eye, and a playful merriment about him, declared that he though it would pass the right inspection.

Just to be extra vigilant though, he set my bright line green bag down, then reached for it with his other hand.  “I think you are fine,” he said confidently.  “If I can do this with my bad arm, then we are safe.”

Well, he was close.  Let’s just say that it weighed in at 53 lbs as I set it on the scale at the airport later.  A gracious lady, gave me a wink, and let it go… I just bet her name was “Grace.”

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He gave it a toss into the big empty trunk , and gave the lid a good firm slam.

He was such a gentleman.  I could tell this right away. He was probably about 65 years old, and was of middle eastern descent.  He just had this ready smile, with a big white grin, and salt and peppered strands  sporatically placed in his hair.

He was dressed in his uniform, and he was impeccable.  A crisp white button down shirt, with black trousers, and shining black loafers.  I could tell instantly that He took pride in his vocation.

As my door was about to be shut, he called out, “Bye Mom.”  I found this very endearing, and very personal, and yet so unexpectedly so……

Her eyes smiled at us from the doorway.  I could tell that she was relieved, and could almost feel her breathing a sigh of relief from where I sat.  She was glad  that her daughter was in good hands.

We drove off into the early morning witha last wave at her.  She responded with the same, with the front door still opened, it’s golden yellow color framing her body.

With a lump in my throat, I settled back into the black leather of the back seat.  I met the eye of the limo driver in his rear view window.  ” I love to see that, ” he said.  “That is so special…family is all there is.”

My head nodded, but I kept my thoughts to myself.

” That’s your Mom right?”  “Yes,” I responded.  ” You don’t see that very often, having someone see you off in the middle of the night.”

Who was this guy?  I felt a prick of conscience.  I had never met such a sweet, genuine, and good natured cab driver.  As we drove along the dark streets, it was eerily quiet, few other cars were about.

He began to tell me about his family.  He came from one of eight children, “a soccer team,” he chuckled, flashing his winning smile again.

He explained to me that they had been married for  over 35 years, and that his wife was amazing, and an excellent Mother to their children.  He told me that he loved the outdoors, and being in his garden, reveling time spent in his backyard.

The house was his wife’s domain, and this was just a statement of fact, there was no animosity in his declaration.

He snickered as he recalled the one and only time his wife sent him to do the grocery shopping.  When he returned, he had bought 2 to 3 times what she had asked for, and she was overwhelmed.  After that, he never had to shop which was just fine by him.

It was so endearing the way that his face glowed, as he spoke of his wife and family.  It was so clear that this man was very wise, and his priorities were in order.

He was from Jordan, and was explaining that his little country  was now home to over eight million people.

He told me that it is a peaceful nation, but is surrounded by a great deal of unrest.  It is surrounded by  Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Egypt.

He was proud of his homeland, and had been raising his family in Canada for many years.

This was a man who felt things keenly, and who lived life fully.

I was really moved by him, his kindness and his zest for life.  As we pulled up to the airport curb, I was sad that our conversation was ending.

I paid, and then tipped him, then just felt inclined to give him a hug of thanx.   It just felt right.  He acted surprised at my gesture of affection, but pleased too.

Fascinating how a simple chance like encounter can be so rejuvenating.  I strolled through the airport with a big goofy smile on my face.  I was energized and elated.  It was as if this man had redirected my thoughts back to what was truly important……Family.

I happened to have a layover scheduled at New York City.  As I exited into the terminal, I discovered that my converse tennis shoe was untied.  I bent over to tie it up, and heard a mighty “RIPPPP!”  I had split open the backside right  portion of my jeans.

All I could do was laugh…apparently having another “wardrobe malfunction” was on my “to do” list for today.

I scooched over to the wall, and rolled my crinkled up cardigan from my over stuffed, natural tan leather bag.. I hastily wrapped it around my overexposed butt, feeling my face glow red with embarrassment.  Notice the word ” ass” appears in this previous word!

Important lesson for travelers.  Always, and I mean always, carry a cardigan.  They provide multiple functions ranging from a pillow, butt covering, hat, skirt, scarf, and last but certainly not least could be used as a tourniquet, should this unique situation arise.

image It turns out my flight from New York City to Denver was oversold.  The sales agent made the announcement that they needed 3 people to volunteer to go on a later flight.  There would be a flight voucher  or a prepaid credit card in the amount of $800.00 offered to the first three passengers.

Well, I all about lept  to my feet, and within 5 steps was first in line.  When it comes to flight vouchers, or freebies I’m an overachiever!

There was a look of surprise in her eyes, and her eyes met mine, and she smiled, the corners of her eyes crinkling.

My day had taken a new turn, and it felt good just to flow with it.

I ended up with a voucher, and was ecstatic at my good fortune.  I remembered that I had some bills to take care once I had returned home, and there was a feeling of soft warmth that washed over me.  It was like a cozy blanket, and I was content.  I felt cared for.

Using the next few hours, I just people watched, drank coffe, and wrote down my thoughts regarding passers by.

Everyone hustling and bustling , often glued to their cell phones, and not often meeting eyes of one another.

This was curious and enlightening to me.  Do we live in a time where it actually takes courage to look someone directly in the eye, and potentially spontaneously smile at them, just to be friendly?

“Hope and courage go hand in hand.  When you are waiting for longed for answers to prayer, it takes courage to continue hoping in Me.”-Sarah Young

When we meet another’s’ eyes there is usually curiosity there, but don’t we also hope that maybe there will be a kind smile too?

“Courage comes from the French word for heart. I (God) live in your heart.  Since I live in your heart, you can call upon ME to help you live courageously-facing adversity  or danger with confidence and determination.” -Sarah Young

Having heart, hope, and courage sometimes seems like a lofty venture, but also seems to be a worthy goal worth pursuing.  When peoples’ lives intersect in a seemingly “chance” way, we have opportunities to share in their stories.

If given the opening, often people are so ready to spill out the tales of their existence, and if we are fortunate, our lives become enriched, by their tenacity , and their ability to keep moving forward, to keep hoping, even when they have been through horrific circumstances.  The hope and courage that is in the human spirt is encapsulated by Faith.  Everyone believes in something after all.

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