So the other day I’m at the airport and I dodge into the ladies room on our way to the departure gate. As I round the corner to enter, I hear a loud Jamaican voice calling out “Come here mommy! There’s a stall for you right here Darling!” A beaming, middle-aged Lady from the Islands had her arms in the air reaching out to me..”Welcome! Here you go my dear!”
What a charming attendant, I said to myself a few minutes later as I dried my hands and surveyed her thoughtful display of mints, mouthwash and other necessities. As I slipped out of the bathroom, I heard her welcoming the next group of travelers and bidding the ladies behind me a safe trip and God’s blessing on their day.
Back in the hall, approaching our gate, I made a few important observations. The first was that our little “express” plane was really, really, reeeaaallllyyyy TINY!!!! It looked like an empty toilet paper roll with popsicle sticks glued to each side. The second thing I realized was that our “gate” did not have a door that opened into a ‘tunnel’ that we would walk down to the front door of our little crop duster..No, our airport door opened up to the great outdoors, the tarmac, where we would walk to our plane with our luggage..kinda like I walk to my car with my groceries.
Gripped with instant anxiety, I shared a few choice words with my travel agent ( AKA my husband ) and tried to breathe in those deep cleansing breaths I’ve written about. With my cheeks getting hotter and my blood pressure rising, I knew there was only one thing to do to get myself to settle down..I HAD to get back to the ladies room to get a blessing! So with ten minutes left, I went charging back down the hall to the restroom. This time around, the sanctuary was packed. Wall to wall women were lined up at the sinks and the stalls. Island mama’s voice was singing out directions, welcomes and blessings to all who entered and exited. I washed my hands, dried them and approached her boldly for the benediction. “God bless you dear mommy” she looked straight into my eyes, “You have a safe flight now.”