Friday, December 19, 2008
As you know I was gone for a few days and that always causes a bit of anxiety for me (I'll get to what happened in Florida and what didn't happen at home another time). The Big Guy and I were laying in bed the morning that I was flying out and he turns to me and says (totally out of the blue), "We will be OK if something happens to you. We will miss you, but we'll be OK." WTF??! So that is what I had to think about for four days alone (while caring for my ailing grand parents)...nice! Well I made it to Florida (with an extra 7 hours of layovers due to lost crews and missing planes) and boarded my first of two flights home. As we were beginning our initial descent into the Memphis airport, I turned to my seat mate (a very nice older lady from Port St. Joe) and was about to comment (probably something trivial) when I see a plane coming right at us. Hmmm...it took a second to register that THAT WAS NOT NORMAL! The woman must have seen my face turn white because she whipped her head to the window and turned a very non-flattering shade of green. I started hyperventilating and almost threw up. She spent her time comforting me as visions of my family "missing me, but doing just fine" went floating through my head (Thanks BG). This all happened in about 10 seconds (or maybe it was only 5...I'm not sure, you don't stop to check the time when you are sure that you are living your last seconds on earth...or should I say in this realm) and by the time the flight attendant saw what was happening, the other plane and turned and ended up behind us (it was heading toward the front of our plane when we first saw it). Her African American face began to turn from white back to it's natural "coffee with cream" color as she kept repeating, "It's OK, it's behind us now." I notice that she stood with us (if she was shaking even half as much as I was I'm sure she was afraid to move for fear of falling into someone's complimentary beverage) and checked about 12 times to make sure it was really gone. If these two had not been with me and saw what I saw, I am not sure I would believe that it had happened, it seems much more like a dream or a clip from a movie (although the feeling I get in my arms and the back of my neck even as I type this tells me that it was more real than anything I have ever experienced before). We landed about 10 minutes later and my next plane had already begun to board. The pilots sitting in that cockpit (maybe their legs were shaking and they couldn't stand either) should be grateful for my hasty departure as I would have had a few words to say to them if I had had time...like "WTF! You dudes always fly like this...were those your buddies I waved to back there...are we on a movie set...do you have any Valium?" I sped through the Memphis airport, looking like a drunk housewife (my stiletto boots didn't help) praying to make my connection and that the flight attendants would be speedy with their beverage service...near death experiences give a little credibility to the saying "I could really use a cocktail right now."