A Kind Conversation

By A Friend • June 5, 2024

I was trying to fly internationally for the first time to visit a friend in the UK in Spring 2010. You know, that year that the volcano erupted and you couldn't fly into or out of Europe for quite some time? I rode up to Chicago on the train not knowing if I was going to have a flight or not. It was just all kinds of extra stress on top of the stress of trying to travel internationally for the first time.

Ultimately I didn't get to go (flight got cancelled shortly before boarding, the airline gave me my money back and I just hopped the train back home), but the flight was still scheduled when I got to O'Hare so I checked in and went to sit at the gate. Couldn't eat, trying to read with a tear stained face that most people were ignoring.

This older couple came and sat right next to me at a time when the waiting area was pretty much empty and simply began a conversation. Husband and wife trying to get home to Amsterdam, had been stranded in the US for days, but came and talked to me. Didn't acknowledge the state my face was in, but they knew anyway. They didn't have to, and it was some very small kindness after a really rough day.

I'll remember those folks and their kind, distracting conversation for a long time.


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