Tuesday, December 22, 2009

An Old Woman in a Wheel Chair at an Airport

My sister was due to arrive at our airport at 10:30 PM and we were all expected to go for the ride in the 15-passenger van to meet her. She just likes that kind of thing. She usually waits for us on the sidewalk with her one small carry-on backpack, but this time she was nowhere to be found.

So we circled and circled and circled some more. The 17-year-old boy was driving and I intently watched the passengers as they greeted their family and friends for the holidays.

But there was one woman who especially caught my eye. She was a very old woman, with dark hair and a dark shawl covering her shoulders sitting in a wheel chair. Beside her, sitting on a raised wall, was a bored airport attendant, with an identification tag hanging around his neck, obviously there as an employee waiting with the woman for her family.

But she sat and sat and sat in the cold, as we circled, with no sign of her ride. I became lost in my thoughts about her and the other passengers I observed, but the 13-year-old boy broke me out of my reverie. He said...

"I really feel sorry for that really old lady in the wheel chair."

Others in the van agreed.

"Yeah, she's been there, like, the whole time we've been driving around," added the 14-year-old girl.

I agreed and also expressed my similar feelings.

"Well, I wonder when her ride is going to come, Mom," said the 13-year-old boy. "And I wonder what they would do if no one ever came."

I pondered that and realized that I had no earthly idea what the airport attendants would do in a situation like that.

The 14-year-old girl suggested that they might put her in a nursing home for the night, and I went back to my daydream state and thought that if I worked in the airport, I would offer her a place to stay in my home for the night. The expression of these thoughts continued as we circled around one last time, and as we neared the old woman again, we saw that the attendant had hopped off the wall and was wheeling her to a nearby vehicle.

The kids all expressed relief that her ride had indeed not forgotten her and as we continued down the lane a few feet, we saw my sister as well, on her cell phone, no doubt trying to reach us.

What struck me about this conversation was the kids' compassion as they thought of the needs and feelings of someone else. Sometimes I wonder if they are ever going to stop thinking of themselves first, but moments like these make me realize that they truly do have the light of Christ and are on the right track.

Just another blessing in disguise, attached to the fact that we had to circle the airport 7 times. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for a glimpse of my childrens' kindness I would not have experienced otherwise.

13 comments:

Melinda said...

This is sweet Jen. Having 3 teenagers I know what that feeling is like. It makes us as moms feel like not all is lost.....LOL You have some great kids.

Amy Snow said...

That is sweet of your children. Poor lady. I hope she has a very Merry Christmas.

alessandra said...

I know what you mean, I feel the same when it happens, but I find that, thinking about ourself first and thinking about others' needs, are things that can/must go hand in hand...? ;-)

Ash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ash said...

What a sweet moment. (And kids!) Merry Christmas!

momstheword said...

Sometimes I am amazed at the tender heart of my boys, although I shouldn't be.

I have to admit, sometimes they are more tender hearted than I am as I am focused on the "end" of the journey and they are looking along the path. They see things that I might miss along the way.

So when I am rushing around shopping and "git 'er done" they are the ones who are often more aware of people than I. Thank the Lord for that!

singlemormonchick said...

i totally teared up reading this post. thanks for sharing. kids can be so amazing.

Cheryl B. said...

Jen, I must admit that at first I thought you were building up to a prank - that your sister Robin had disguised herself and was pulling one of her pranks on you. ;-p

I absolutely love it when the Lord ever so graciously allows us peeps into the inner self of our children and we are allowed to see that at least some of the seeds we have planted really have taken root. :-D Such reassuring hope He provides!!

I had got to thinking about your posting which had contained your packing list, and something you had written in it. You mentioned that you were visiting Grandma (you mom I presume), attending a wedding, and then visiting the other grandparents while on your trip. Seeings how you live across the street from John's parents, I figure you must mean your visiting your first husbands parents? How COOL!!! They are still six of your kids grandparents! And thus it would/will be great for both the kids as well as the grandparents!!! And I bet his parents still care a lot about you too .. but I could be wrong on this point. Ya never know about people.

Merry CHRISTmas Jen!

p.s. - Melinda, I had noticed you hadn't been commenting lately - hope everything is okay. Missed you!

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Cheryl, yes, we will be visiting my first husband's father and step-mother, whom we love. They've only met John once, but seemed to appreciate what he was trying to do with their grandchildren and I think my first husband's father has grown to respect him. We are very much looking forward to the trip!

RhondaLue said...

I think our sweet youth have more kind hearted feelings than they ever express. Awesome that you got to hear theirs!


Merry Christmas!

Angel said...

That is very sweet of your kids.

Merry Christmas!

thorney said...

This is so beautiful. You have raised such compassionate children. You have wonderful children Jen!

Grampa Al said...

Very cool, Jen. Those in need help the rest of us more than they know, huh?