‘Safety On Board’

So I flew back to Edmonton today and as the plane was taxi-ing, I’m pretty sure I was having a flashback. Either that or I was triggered. I’m not really sure, but I was thinking about when I flew from Ontario to Edmonton to say goodbye to my Dad. That day, my brother had called me, followed by my Mom, and then within 2 hours, I was sitting on a plane headed for Edmonton to say goodbye to my father for the last time.

As I was sitting there today in my seat, all I could think about was that trip, how I was constantly crying and absolutely devastated.

When I went to board my plane that day, dreading the ride not only for the destination, but also because my body is not airplane friendly–  the seat was the last thing I wanted to battle against that day. However, to my luck, I was seated next to a child (a win for bigger people cause kids generally don’t mind you putting up the arm rest between the seats). Not only was my body more comfortable, but my mind was too.

The child was very interactive and let me colour with her, watch some cartoons, and she told me stories about her travels to her grandparents’ farm. Then we eventually fell asleep, with her legs across my laps – now that I think back to it, it all seems pretty cavalier of her mother to allow this, but during that flight it was completely genuine and caring.

Then, at the end of the flight the child’s mother looked at me, wide-eyed with a kind and tired face, as if to say ‘thank you’. When it was I who should have been saying thank you.

Little did she know, but her daughter saved me from a complete breakdown as the thoughts “my father is going die and there’s nothing I can do about it” rolled around my head for 4.5 hours. I was able to breathe and focus on something other than removing my dad from life support and holding his hand while he drifted away.

It was so overwhelming on the plane today that I had to do some serious deep-breathing to stop myself from crying. It was nice to remember how present I felt during that flight and how sometimes the most amazing moments come from the tiniest of packages.


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