Corpse-like, her body hung over the armrest of the seat in the waiting area. Two-toned orange and black hair lay across multiple tattoos. Asleep? Drunk? Sick? I didn’t know, I really didn’t care. It was time to board my flight home.
It was a great week teaching and coaching and working with people I love and who make me better. I’m a better me when I’m with them. I can see more clearly who I am becoming and who I want to become when I’m with them. Their love and acceptance of the authentic me has helped change the course of my life. And then this happens.
I thought I heard the door close and the seat next to me wasn’t taken, some was about to move over when two-toned hair and a pocked face cemented with makeup and fake eyelashes so big they looked like fuzzy dice hanging from a rearview mirror. Her white tank top looked like pillows that have been sweated on for decades. And my only thought was literally: “Please no God, please no. Don’t let her sit next to me.”
She shuffled by me and this time the door was closed and I slid over, a row to myself.
A few moments later, I heard some slurring words in a slight protest as one of the flight attendants gently escorted her to the seats across the aisle from me which were unoccupied. I heard her trying to explain why she was behaving this way, but didn’t catch it. The flight attendant was so kind and gentle with her I actually started to feel ashamed for the way I had acted toward her.
She quickly fell asleep.
And as she lay there, in whatever state she was in, I looked over and saw a key lanyard attached to her purse and on it was printed: #1 MOM.
Seeing that lanyard made me feel so sorry for this woman. This is someone’s mom, someone who must be loved deeply by someone else. I think of how my mom struggled – differently, but still struggled as a single mom.
I notice one of her tattoos is The Serenity Prayer.
It also made me feel like an asshole. Everyone is someone who is just trying to make it in life. Everyone has a struggle. Everyone has a story.
My heart is too bitter yet. There is still a “them” for me. I am not very aware of the Presence.
I must keep working.