“I can’t believe they’re letting us go up in this,” said the flight attendant, as The Dean and I stepped aboard the plane.
This wasn’t just any flight. This was the flight en route home from our honeymoon, a glorious 9 days on the island of Martha’s Vineyard that had been everything a June honeymoon should be.
This also wasn’t any large plane. Quite the opposite. If memory serves me correctly, there were about 9 of us on board and not room for one more.
Our plane was delayed because of a thunderstorm rocking Martha’s Vineyard. Nervous about missing our connecting flight from Boston to Philadelphia, we sat in the clapboard airport. (Remember the airport from the TV show “Wings”? That’s the Martha’s Vineyard airport.)
And in what ranks as one of the best decisions of our now 16-year old marriage, The Dean wisely decided not to mention to me the conversation he’d overheard between the flight attendant and the pilot. (Somehow, I missed the exchange between the duo who had this new chapter of our lives in their hands.)
“I can’t believe they’re letting us go up in this.”
By the time our flight was airborne, lightning was crashing and turbulence was shaking our model airplane. We looked at each other and at the other passengers who we were convinced would be listed alongside our names in the coverage of this plane’s crash. Ever the writer, I was mentally composing the newspaper article about us, a tragic Lifetime story of the young couple who died in a plane crash en route home from their honeymoon.
Because I’m writing this blog entry, you might have surmised that we – and the other six pack of passengers on that plane – landed safely. But with the ongoing coverage of the missing Air France flight that disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean as it flew in what has been described as horrendous storms, I couldn’t help but think back to another June flight under similar circumstances.
There’s nothing to explain why our teeny-tiny plane with 9 people made it through a storm and why an Air France jetliner with 228 souls apparently did not.
In the absence of answers, we second-guess. We re-think whether we should have been allowed to take off in this. We say to ourselves, with especially deep meaning today, “there for but the grace of God go I.”
And we mourn, as so often we do, for those lost and particularly for the unpredictability of our lives. For the randomness that has the power to overtake us and to rock our worlds.