I may not see air travel the same way again, but I will see the bigger picture.

I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”
Marilyn Monroe


Thank goodness the airline couldn’t find my reservation.

Thank goodness I had to sit in coach instead of my booked Business Class Seat.

Thanks goodness I got to the airport shockingly fast and arrived by 5 am for my 6:30 flight.

I am pretty sure, and it is unlikely, that I will say all of things at one time again…or at least hopefully I won’t be saying them again in the near future.

Last Friday as I eagerly ran out the door of my hotel to come back to LA, I was excited. It was 4:30 am and I had barely slept for the past few days, so I was feeling “off” but chalked it up to being tired, make that overly-tired.  I had planned pretty much everything down to the minute. I needed to get home by 10:30 am PST so I could grab E and be at Cedars for E’s high-risk Pediatric Clinic follow-up appointment by noon.  I had changed my flight to the icky hour of 6:30 am just 2 days before to make sure I would be home to take her.

As my towncar dropped me off, I could feel my stomach barking a bit, but as I get car sick anyway, or motion sickness from most movement, it wasn’t terribly shocking.

I rarely, if ever, check luggage, and so I usually just slide up to one of the check-in kiosks, punch in my frequent flier number, get my boarding pass and off I go.  Prior to the minis being born I was Executive Platinum on American, and I can still remember the day when they called about 6 months after the kids were born and kindly asked me why I wasn’t flying as much. I explained that I had had twins, and I am pretty sure my status dropped on that bit of information alone. But, I digress.

Back to Friday morning at 4:55 am.  I punched in my frequent flier number and nothing but a message in red saying my reservation could not be found.

Knowing my reservation was in Business Class, I proceeded to the Business Class area and waited in line. As I watched a nearly irate woman telling the seemingly very nice woman behind the counter that it was completely unreasonable that she was so late that her plane was to take off in 20 minutes, and the woman would not escort her to get on a plane that she would surely miss, my head was foggy as if this woman the scene was in a movie.  Suddenly it was my turn.

I approached the Customer Service woman, handed her my ID and said, I am going to LAX.  She looked up my confirmation number and said that my change of flight had never been confirmed.

“What?” I said, half confused, half irritated.

“I am not sure what happened, but let me make a call.” she said, seeing my growing frustration.  Not directed at her, but just generally.

After 10 minutes of balancing back and forth from one foot to the other, I could feel a wave of nausea. I looked at the garbage can nearby and recalled a food poisoning incident that I had been laughing about recently with a friend, where I had had to dart out of a similar line at the airport counter and get sick in the trash can. Which then led to another image of me leaping out a moving car I was in with Mark Burnett in Minnesota during a business trip, to sprint across a busy street to get sick in another public trash can. None of these were my finer moments, but I laughed to myself as I thought about the conversation with my friend.

I wouldn’t be laughing long.

After finally sorting out that my flight indeed has been cancelled, and that Business Class was full, the nice lady tried to help me find a place in Coach.  She allowed me to pick the seat, and I chose 17A instead of 25A which would put me further back, as I would be ready to dart off the plane as soon as we landed.  It was a very full flight, so those were my only options.  Kindly, she also agreed to let me pre-board so I would be able to settle in with my luggage without risking having to check my bag.  In making the best of “not the ideal” situation, I was ok,  and I was almost too tired to care.

Once on the plane, I settled in and laid my head back against the headrest as everyone boarded.  I tried to get comfortable and reminded myself that I needed to get back to E, but more than that I couldn’t wait to see my babies, my KSP and my family. They were only 7 hours away with flight and traffic.

The plane filled and noone came to sit next to me.  As they closed the doors, I realized I had the fortunate happy circumstance of being on a Coach Flight with noone sitting next to me…Yippee!

Cue the first wave of nausea. About 15 minutes into the air, as I lay in a ball across the 2 seats, it began.  Thank god, I was literally the first one on the plane to use the bathroom. After the first 6 trips in 2 hours, people either thought I had a drug problem or that I was sick.  It was the latter.

For the next 6 hours, I was sick out of my mind.  Then in the last hour, as I tried to inconspicuously hover over the little white bag (my second one mind you), one of the flight attendants noticed me and within seconds, there was a bigger bag, 2 in fact, and then an ice pack, a cold towel, and entire bottle of bubbly water. They were like a team of angels swooping in to care for me.  It was touching in a way I cannot describe as I had been so alone in my misery for 5 and a half hours.

After I got home, I spent the day in bed and had the opportunity to reflect upon the sequence of events.  Just how well all my “inconveniences” had worked out.  How horrified I would have been to be sitting in Business Class with someone next to me and having to get up every 15 minutes to go to the bathroom.  How that wouldn’t have worked for how sick I was.

For how lucky I was that noone was seated next to me.

For how grateful I was to that team of angel American Airlines Flight Attendants.  Thank you to them!

And, after all of that, E’s appointment isn’t actually for another 3 weeks, there was a scheduling glitch in my calendar.


Thank goodness the airline couldn’t find my reservation.

Thank goodness I had to sit in coach instead of my booked Business Class Seat.

Thanks goodness I got to the airport shockingly fast and arrived by 5 am for my 6:30 flight.

One more case study in:

Now, as I laugh about “the incident,” I think about just how far beyond this example “everything happens for a reason” plays out in my life, and without these everythings I would not be sitting here typing this with my precious angels sleeping down the hall and my KSP next to me as we watch our new obsession “Homeland.”  Yes, today I am grateful and today is ‘mynewfavoriteday.’

No matter what your challenge, or situation, there are moments that define these journeys and whether it’s today, tomorrow, 2 months or 3 years from now, I hope you too can one day look back and believe “that everything happens for a reason.”

Any series of events making you feel the same today?

2 thoughts on “I may not see air travel the same way again, but I will see the bigger picture.

  1. Gah!! To me, one of the most uncomfortable and unsettling feelings is not being in your own home while sick. I am so glad that everything worked out in such a way where you could be vulnerable, ill, and be able to get through that with some comfort! Glad you’re feeling better, and I’m sorry you had that experience.

    I also love that whenever I come to your blog, it lifts me up and reminds me that the glass is ALWAYS on the fuller side! ❤ ❤

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