We missed our flight home, coming back from a week doing all the Disney things. Despite being at the airport 2 hours early, thanks to a security debacle we got to the gate just in time to be told it was too late. Along with about 30 other not so happy people. We begged and pleaded and complained to no avail. We missed our flight and there were no more flights to Charlotte for the day.
*****When you wear them out before they take you down! Disney win***
My husband had flown home the day before for work. So my options were spend the night at the airport alone with my four-year-old or hop a flight to a city 3 hours away from our airport and then figure it out. I begrudgingly chose the latter.
We rushed to make the alternate flight and quickly found our seats. I had the pleasure of sitting beside Roberta, a sweet elderly woman. My ever curious four-year-old struck up a conversation with her after bluntly asking why she was wearing a medical face mask. She told us that she had stage 4 cancer and she was flying to stay with her daughter. Together they would decide if she would do one more trial treatment, or not.
We spent the flight talking about life and children, and cancer. She told me how even though at 87 she has lived a wonderful life, she doesn’t feel ready. Her eye's showed a mixture of sadness and anger, and a little disbelief.
But she said she doesn’t want to go through the side effects of the treatments again and she doesn’t want her family to have to suffer through them either. She asked me what I did and I told her a little, as best I could. Being a travel writer/mom blogger is hard to explain. As we said our goodbyes she kindly told me I seemed like a lovely person and a good mother. She smiled and reminded me to "keep living and finding the joy."
Before that flight I had been mentally beating myself up over whether this is all too much. We’ve had an amazing week full of fun, but the exhaustion and overwhelm were starting to take a toll! The missed flight, airport mayhem, traveling alone with a small child and my pressing to-do list running through my mind.... all I could think was maybe this is just more than I can handle.
After that plane ride, all the worry disappeared. Driving down the road in our rental car singing along to all the Frozen/Moana/Tangled songs and eating happy meals, my heart couldn’t have been more full. Something that a few hours ago seemed like such a travesty was now just a little bump in the road. One that came with a reminder to be grateful for every moment of this wild, crazy, messy beautiful life.
Thank you Roberta for the little dose of perspective - that life is about living and following your joy. Worry less, laugh more. Love and be kind. It’s really that simple. ❤️
And keep an eye out for angels like Roberta. You never know when you may cross paths with the one you need most.
****When your 4yo is so tired he collapses in his sixth ice cream of the day. Vacation nutrition***
***The slobber that comes from being Disney tired!***
***When you pass out at dinner but Dad HAS to get the last Disney character autograph to complete your book :)***
***A rare sight-- the ever energetic 4 year old at rest***