What I Am SO Grateful For – Part One

What I Am SO Grateful For – Part One

I’ve been awake about an hour and I’m already filled with an unmatched happiness and peace. I couldn’t do another thing until I told you what I was feeling. The past five days have completely blown me away…

To get started, I must tell you about my pre-Thanksgiving travel experience. A few weeks ago I bought my plane tickets home to Tucson, leaving Wednesday (the 24th) at 9pm and coming back Saturday. I originally got the late Wednesday flight because my aunt was coming in to town and I was going to spend the day with her and my cousin. She got caught in a nasty Utah snow storm and I found out the day before my flight she was not going to be able to travel here – the freeways would shut down.

This opened up the opportunity for me to come home a little early which I desperately craved. The past few weeks I’ve been working hard and giving to others hard. Every time I go home to Tucson and see my parents for a little one-on-one time, it’s as if my batteries get completely recharged. I probably can’t explain it in a way to get across how badly I wanted to get on an earlier flight. Sometimes we just know we need something and we’d do about anything to get it. If I kept my 9pm flight, I’d arrive just as the rest of my family had and the busy holiday events would commence. I wouldn’t have that peaceful one-on-one visit. So it was Operation Home.

I called the airlines, they said there was a Wednesday, 8am flight which had seats available and if I got to the airport at 6am, I could probably get on with only a $50 fee. (The next flight was my scheduled 9pm, so this was THE option.) Done! I rearranged my whole schedule and crammed everything in to Tuesday night so I could make this happen. I was so excited. I didn’t care what it took to get it done. It was just happening.

I woke up in the morning at 4:30am, exhausted, but excited. I got everything ready and headed to the airport on schedule. I arrived, parked, took the long hike to the airport, stood in line and dreaming about seeing my parents. I get to the front, wait a little more, a lady asks what flight I am on. I explain that I’m hoping to get on the 8am flight to Tucson. She laughs and says the flight is completely overbooked and I can’t even try for standby. As she turned away quickly to help another customer, I just stood there shocked. This couldn’t be it…

Honestly, I started crying. I don’t know what came over me. I just felt so defeated and disappointed. I really don’t ask for much, and when I do “need” something, it’s usually only when I really, really need it. I picked myself up and headed back to my car, then drove home. I was crushed. I just couldn’t believe it…

I called both my parents to fill them in, then went home, crawled into bed with my amazing yellow lab. We cuddled and I tried to map out what I would do all day. My mom called maybe five minutes later saying, “Get up and go to the airport honey!” She had purchased a new plane ticket for me that would leave in just over two hours. I’d arrive in Tucson by 4pm. I couldn’t believe it. I was so overwhelmed with gratitude. Think for a moment about this act, this going above and beyond. This awareness to see what an other really needs, and making it happen. It’s simply amazing everyone. It gets better…

So I race to the airport. It’s a half hour drive and then I’m told I need at least 2 hours to get through Denver security on the busiest travel day of the year. I have less than the 2.5-3 hours needed, but I can do it. I get to the airport, park, grab my bags and head to the Southwest (best airline!) check in counters.

There’s a SW agent directing traffic on which line to stand in. He’s an upbeat, nice guy I can tell – but everyone is steam-rolling him as they all have their own agendas and he appears to get in the way. A woman comes up to him holding a cup of coffee and he jokingly says, “Hey! Is that cup of coffee for me??” I’m watching this all play out. He has a big friendly smile on his face and she brushes past him – could have cared less. I shook my head – It’s Thanksgiving for crying out loud people.

I look at my watch, I’m behind schedule. I don’t care. I run up to him and ask if he’d like a cup of coffee. You should have seen the smile on his face… priceless. I ask where the nearest coffee shop is and what he’d like. I run across the airport, stand in line, get the coffee, run back, pass it off saying “Happy Thanksgiving!” and ran toward security. It felt amazing, but more, it felt like the right thing to do. I made my flight with a few minutes to spare. It gets better…

I sleep on the first flight (I’m headed to my connection in LA, then to Tucson). When I wake up at the end of the flight I ask the flight attendant if I had time to exit the plane and get food before we headed straight to Tucson. He said sure, but, I didn’t realize at the time that my sense of time was off. I didn’t realize I had a 2-hour layover in LA before Tucson. More time passes, we are just about on the ground when the awesome flight attendant comes up and asks what flight number I have to Tucson. That’s when the “ah ha” moment came – I’m not going direct to Tucson yet. He tells me this plane is going straight to Tucson, I should get off and ask to go on this flight which would get my in Tucson 2 hours earlier!!

Now, the beauty… The flight attendant didn’t have to go out of his way like this. He thought about it after the fact, then was aware and kind enough to come back and inquire further to help me out. I felt like it was INSTANT karma!! I thought back to that cup of coffee I got the attendant even though I was late. I thought of my mom going out of her way to get me home earlier. I thought of just how divine it all really is… Life is so intricate and all things are connected.

I couldn’t even contain my happiness as all this transpired. I was filled with such an overwhelming gratitude. I got to Tucson and the one-on-one time I got with my parents completely recharged me and things just kept getting better and better and better from there. I’m so excited to tell you the rest. Stay tuned, on Wednesday you’ll hear Part Two!

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