She was a mother with a baby and a toddler, a little overwhelmed and looking resigned about the looks of trepidation fellow passengers were giving her since it was a 13-hour flight from the US to Asia and the second of three legs for me - the total always ends up to about a day, give or take. They were technically seated right behind me. Throughout the flight, I would borrow the baby and amuse the toddler, to give her breaks. It was going to be their first time to meet their mother’s side of the family.
This happened over a decade ago and at that time I had gotten the news my father might pass away, having had a massive stroke, which led to a sudden flight to go back home in a race against time. He ended up surviving but bedridden with a worsening case of Alzheimer’s, no longer able to care for himself or remember us until he passed away 8 years later.
The distraction afforded by the mother’s plight distracted me from my own concerns and I still think of her and her kids. They made me think of the future, that the world doesn’t stop for our pain and that life goes on.
“On particularly rough days when I’m sure I can’t possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100%. And that’s pretty good.”