Last week, I took a business trip to Indiana by way of Chicago. On my flight from Chicago to Indiana there was this older woman with a bright pink winter jacket, short silver hair, a Rosetti bag, shiny black flats with stockings and the best smile…
She was actually sitting behind me at the airport while we waited to board the flight. I’m a people watcher so, I noticed her immediately. She WAS wearing that pink jacket after all, but it was more than that. There are plenty of flashy people at the airport, her energy was different.
She sat there with a quiet confidence as she was right now on this little jumper plane we were on. I couldn’t help but stare at her and was so thankful to be around someone with that energy. Sometimes travelling can be draining.
She was so content in that seat even when the turbulence was throwing us all around.
You could tell she’s till curious and she’s still enjoying life.
I looked away and then I started to wonder…
How many times has she loved and been loved?
How many lives she’s affected just by being here?
How many children does she have if she has any at all?
I wondered if she was going home or if like me, her adventure was just beginning?
I imagined that she’s going to visit family that has moved out this way after college and falling in love.
They will probably be waiting for her with big smiles and a mix of generations at the airport.
She yawns and then looks over to me and smiles, almost like that yawn surprised her because she’s still got plenty of energy.
I could tell she was tired but she is too smart to let a moment pass her by.
She’s calculated with her energy but full of it.
I wonder if she has any regrets.
She glances out of the window with her fingers on her chin like she’s looking for something.
Maybe she’s praying?
Maybe she’s making her to do list like I should be?
Maybe she’s thinking of someone who has passed?
I always wonder that when I’m flying.
I always think of my loved ones that have passed perhaps it’s because I feel closer?
I never fully realize until those hot tears start to burn my eyes and distort my view.
Then I realize I’m on a plane and I need to keep my shit together.
Her wedding ring catches my eye. It’s old school and matches the age of her delicate hand. Makes me think of my Framma. She was always so put together, so calculated and her energy… I swear I can still feel it.
Makes me think that getting older isn’t so bad, it’s a gift really.
Then my mind starts to ramble…
Society pisses me off sometimes.
How we try to hide our age yet it always wins…
Growing old is not something that everyone gets to do and for many that do, they spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to hide the evidence?
I think somewhere in society a false belief that getting old is bad was formed. It’s sad really. I want everyone I know to have the chance at growing old…
From a very young age, I was involved and around the older generations. My mom would make me visit and bring food to our older neighbors and some of them I would beg not to. She’d still make me. Add that to the list of things that has made me who I am today…
Our flight landed, we were safely in Indiana.
She offered to let me go first, I insisted that she go and thanked her.
I laughed to myself as her phone started ringing when we were walking down to grab our bags.
“No one was calling me” I thought to myself.
I again imagined it was her family, happily waiting and curious as to her whereabouts…
We arrived at the baggage carousel and I am not sure how we got to talking but we did.
She was wearing Halloween earrings and a matching sweater.
She’s 80 years old and just came back from NC where she was helping her friend move furniture and do “set ups” for a company.
Her husband died 2 years ago and her daughter stopped by her house to pick up her 2016 Camry to come pick her up at the airport.
She was late…
Her son lives in CA with his wife and does traveling sales for Venezuela.
When her husband passed away 2 years ago, her son bought her a house closer to town in Louisville, Kentucky. It was a smaller house and she liked not having to clean as much.
She said that he visits her more now too and she loves it because he makes time.
I asked her for her advice on life.
“Keep busy” she said
I grabbed her bag off the carousel and thanked her for sharing with me and off she went…
Thanks for taking the time to read this.