We all have regrets. Don’t lie. You know you have at least one. Hopefully they aren’t too heavy. Whether it was eating that second donut; not marrying that girl; not taking that job on the other side of the world; staying out too late when you have a big presentation the next day. Whatever. Don’t regret missing opportunities that your gut told you that you should go for.
Today I was on the plane to LA and walking past me on the plane was Jack Canfield. Yes, he flies Spirit airlines too. I didn’t even have to double take. I was excited and thought immediately of the Laws of Attraction that he and his co-contributors from the Secret talked about. Would he approve of me saying hello after the flight? Of course he would! We are all people. Here was an opportunity to meet an incredible man. This encounter could change my life. Who knows? The point is, I wasn’t going to take the risk in not finding out.
Jack was great! He greeted me warmly and we chatted while we got our bags. We talked of my travels and his, Chicken Soup for the Soul and social media. We exchanged cards. Who knows what will come of it.
He didn’t need to be Jack Canfield or someone famous. It could have been someone I just felt I needed to talk to. The point is, don’t look back and think, “I should have”. Go for it.
Funny enough that was almost the end of the blog until I sat next to Brandy on the flight from LA to NY. We talked about the difference between the mind’s decisions and a “gut” feeling. She commented that gut is a “knowing” and then she said, “Your gut is God”. I like that.
There are many things in life that we encounter that seem overwhelming, difficult or important at the time. Then you come across a situation that puts it all in perspective for you and watch how others handle that situation with awe inspiring grace and it makes all your worries seem petty and insignificant.
I had such an experience today. Flying back to the states for the first time in a year in not the best of health on not the most of luxurious of airlines I was in a moaning mood at best. I first noticed this family of four children at the gate while talking to a fellow American I had picked up as a travel buddy on the last leg of the flight.
The little girl, not yet even a year and a half I would later learn, was crying non-stop and was being coddled by what we discussed had to be her grandmother. I couldn’t help look around for the mother. Our conversation about this family led us to discuss how it must be so difficult to travel with four little ones in tow. I said hello to the crying girl and she was curious enough to stop crying for a minute to smile. Then they disappeared onto the plane.
For the first couple of hours you could hear this little girl crying and crying. When I got up to go to the bathroom I passed the grandmother holding her and I stopped to rub her back and say hello again. I asked her if she was tired from traveling, The grandmother told me that their mother had died suddenly last Saturday from a heart attack. Just died. Collapsed and died. No warning. No pre-existing condition. A mother of four, a YOUNG mother of four, and a young wife, poof – just gone. It floored me.
A little later when passing them again I was speaking with the husband, now a surviving father of four children. His parents and her parents had flown all the way to Shanghai to help him with the trip back to the States for his wife’s funeral. He was amazed at all the support that was there for him and how much strength he and his older two girls had found. Their composure was incredible. I couldn’t help but talk to him and think about their future and about what they had just been through. He said they felt an outpouring of support from both loved ones and strangers. The eight and five year old understood their mom had died, while the three-year-old boy understood she wasn’t there and the one and a half year old just didn’t really understand at all.
I saw them from a distance one last time after I got my bags. The five year-old tugged at her father pointing at the carousel, “Isn’t that Mommy’s luggage Daddy?”. Holding the little one, he stroked her head, “Yes honey, that’s Mommy’s luggage.”