Friendly Skies

I recently had a chance to fly the friendly skies.  But there was one little problem: no one actually seemed very friendly . . . including me.  We were delayed – lots of grumbling.  Then there was nothing left but middle seats – more grousing.   An unhappy baby ahead of me cried throughout the flight.I sat with my knees crushed, feeling like a sardine in a can.  I fell into a spin cycle of frustration, ticking off all the annoyances:  mechanical failure, turbulence, uncomfortable seating, unwelcome neighbors.  I closed my eyes, patience lost, willing the time to fly.As we landed and waited to exit, the woman next to me said into her cell phone, “So it’s metastasized then? . . . Oh . . . Yes . . . Okay.”I had never heard such an intimate cell phone exchange, ever.  I debated whether to say anything, and then offered, “Sounds like someone you care about is ill.”  She responded, “My father.  He’s dying.”Every person around me, I realized, had a story, a life full of joys and sorrows, triumphs and challenges.  The inconveniences around me melted away.  I wished her and her father peace on their journey.  And, just like that, the skies got a lot friendlier.To receive Ashley’s weekly blog via email Click

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