Mary is my middle name. Mary is my Mother’s name. I pray to Mary everyday…even more so when I am worried or afraid. I am not a Holy Roller, but find comfort in praying.
I prayed hard to Mary, and God, and my favorite Angels in Heaven (and pretty much anyone that would listen to me) on Tuesday that we would make it home safely to our children.
Then she appeared.
I didn’t know her name. She came up behind us in the security line and made a joke about hoping to not have to run through the airport to catch her plane because the lines were so long.
That was it. We all made it through…then waited. Our flight was delayed. More waiting and more worrying for the big chicken.
Finally the time came to board…here comes my praying again.
(Reminding myself to bring the Blessed Mother like this one on my next flight)
My throat gets tight, I get shaky, my head spins…trust me, flying anywhere with me, is no fun. But I so desperately want to see the world.
So I muscle through.
I thought to myself I can do this…knowing how so many people wish they could be traveling…I can do this.
Then it happened… there she was.
The woman behind us in line in security was boarding our plane. We find that to be cool in a strange sort of way, when you see people from your flight or in an airport, at random times in a trip.
And wait…she couldn’t be…she is taking the empty window seat next to me in our row…woah.
We exchanged pleasantries, my husband, as usual, fell sound asleep in seconds, and I am left alone with my thoughts and prayers and warnings of a bumpy flight…all to myself.
A little while into the flight, I checked my air vent…the nice woman next to me was covering up her chest and said I could use her air vent as well, it was bothering her…she explained she had a port, and it hurt for some reason…
This small comment turned into a funny, emotional, and strange conversation that lasted until we landed…
As we packed up our things,(I was relieved to be home yet thoroughly freaked out), she introduced herself…Mary.
I know it is a fairly common name, but as she talked of family, and her illness she was recovering from, and trips she has taken, there was one similarity after another…I had started to think to myself…is she my guardian angel to get me through this flight or something more?
Near the end of our conversation, she was giving me strength to get through some challenges we are facing in our family, and comforting words…then she told me that someone in her church had told her she was like a Prophet of sorts…she was determined to take this trip to go help guide someone who was suffering and needed support…then she looked at me, and said “ya know, I think this kind of happened for a reason too”…I gently touched her arm and said “I think so too”…I then told her why…how each story she told me, was so similar to our life and things that were going on right now, that I felt she could be in it with us…I cannot get into detail of all the little things and big things right now…
But I can say, I am a believer…in Mary.
She may have been just a cancer survivor sitting next to me on the plane with a terrific sense of humor…or she could have been a prophet somehow…or all my praying sent her to sit with me to distract me from all of my fears…
Whatever it was, it worked…I will never forget that flight.