A Fight To Detroit

thM9AP45P5Middle Seat

It turns out that your neighbor on the plane/bus/train (or the person sitting at the next table at the coffee shop) is a very, very chatty tourist. Do you try to switch seats, go for a non-committal brief small talk, or make this person your new best friend?

A little better than a week ago I was on a plane to Detroit.

The day before a call was received from hospice care; it was likely my mother would not live beyond three or four days. Tickets were purchased for the next day.

Early the next day a niece called; she said it was not likely I could make it home before Mom died. She handed Mom the phone. I told her I would see her later and she should just relax. I told her I loved her and that was the end of the conversation. Ten minutes later my niece called back, Mom died three minutes after saying goodbye.

The flight would be somber, filled with memories, tears, and grief.

The plane flew from Boise to Denver where a connection was made for a flight from there to Detroit.

On the flight to Detroit a woman sat next to me. Before the plane was airborne she asked my final destination.

“Detroit,” I said sensing a chatty flight.

She forced a smile. “Me too. Visiting family?”

“Sort of,” I said. “My mother passed this morning.”

Her face lost expression.

“Is something wrong?” I said.

“I’m going to Detroit for my son’s funeral,” she said. “I’m so sorry about your mother.”

“She was 100,” I said. “She had a good life. How old was your son?”

“29,” she said.

My mourning could not possibly be as much as hers.

“Tell me about him,” I said.

And she did.

Towards the end of the flight I shared a couple of comforting scriptures from the Bible. The reality is that by listening to her and the scriptures read, I was the one comforted. (Job 14; Acts 24:15; Revelation 21:3, 4)





  1. Thank you for sharing. I, too, have have been comforted immeasurably by those Bible verses. I look forward to meeting your Mom, your Dad and others who can tell those tales about you. What a time to look forward to. Again, thank you and may you, too, be comforted with pleasant memories and very real expectations.

  2. I’m so sorry for your loss ! No matter how strong our hope is, it still hurts. May “the God of all comfort” give you the strength you need now and in the days to come ! (2 Cor 1:3-7) My love you you and the family !

  3. I think you were a blessing to each other. I sure your listening ear was just what she needed. How fortunate that the seating arrangements were made by a higher hand than the ticket agent.

  4. Wow, that made cry I wasn’t expecting that ending such beautiful sentiment, and to think that meeting predestined before the beginning of time!!! So glad you sat next to her.

  5. I am always amazed, and encouraged, that there are folk as yourself who are willing to place the needs of others above their own. Listening with the heart is a gift we each have and you used your gift to bring comfort. You reminded me we are all vessels of encouragement and hope. Bless you and comfort in this time of sadness. Linda

Blather away, if you like.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s