Almost two weeks ago, I set out with my four boys to fly from California to Georgia for Christmas. We managed to arrive in one piece, with all of our luggage, but that was not the miracle.
Or maybe that was also a miracle. ha!
As I shepherded the four of them, plus myself, our five back-packs, and countless electronic gadgets through the security machines, we followed the rules very nicely, and I counted the heads of my children 300 times.
“Is this medicine 3mL?” the agent asked me, referring to my son’s seizure medication.
“Oh, I have no idea, but he has to have it.” (Don’t mess with Mama.)
“Yes, of course,” he replied.
Liquids and laptops have to go into separate security bins for the people to screen, so we segregated out all of my things.
“I’m flying alone with these four boys,” I made sure the agent knew. For this to work, I needed a little extra assistance.
“Oh. Okay,” then he turned to the metal detector lines next to us, and he said, “Hold the lines.” The other passengers stepped back while they ushered my ducklings and I through the metal detectors, as a solid group. I was thrilled! I have never gotten through airport security so quickly!
The boys all grabbed their things, I grabbed my things, and we were on our way.
We only had to wait about 30 minutes at our gate before boarding began. JD and Daniel were happy to stand and look at the planes out the window. Caleb and Joshua were sitting in chairs, completely absorbed in their electronic devices. I chatted a bit with other folks near the windows.
The boarding agent called for all passengers who “need extra time or assistance in boarding.”
As soon as I heard it, I wasted no time whatsoever. I pulled JD and Daniel down from their window ledge, and said, “Time to go, boys!”
I dashed over to Joshua and Caleb, whipped their devices from their game-playing-zombie fingers, shoved them into their backpacks, and said, “C’mon, boys! We gotta board this plane right now because we are the ones needing the extra help.”
They jumped up, zipped their packs, and followed me.
I rushed my 4 little ducklings along, and as I approached the boarding area, there was the usual multiple clumps of people waiting for their turn. I looked at the young man standing in the front of said line. I didn’t want to appear rude by just shoving my way in front of him.
“Are you one of the people needing the extra help?” I asked him.
He chuckled, “No, no.”
“Oh. Well, I sure am! C’mon, boys!” I said as I stepped in front of him, followed by my adorable straight line of four little fellas.
In fact, as I was just about to hand our five tickets to the ticket lady, JD excitedly ran straight on ahead, right past the ticket counter, right past me, and right on down the jetway….or whatever you call that hallway thing that leads to the airplane.
Yikes! I quickly ran over, scooped him up, and apologetically went back to the ticket lady.
“I’m so sorry,” I said. “We’re with the needing the extra help group.”
She nodded. “Five?”
No sooner than we had gotten ourselves arranged in our seats, I had a terrible. horrifying. realization. I dug through my book bag, looking for my laptop, but wait. Where was my laptop?
Uh-oh….in the bin…beside…the medicines…and JD’s sippy cup. I did a quick check. Yes, all of those things were missing, and I knew exactly where I had left them. At security.
By the way, that’s not the kind of medication you can just quit cold turkey. There’d be headaches to suffer from that sort of thing.
Nooooooo! So I did what I always do when I have a problem.
That’s right. I called Alan. Poor Alan. He was already on the highway headed home. He said that I should ask the crew if they could help me retrieve all that stuff before we took off.
Yes, I should think of these things on my own, but no, it will never happen. I am not the person you want around in an emergency.
I flagged down the flight attendant. I told her what had happened as quickly as I could.
Raquel was her name, and she is one of my new favorite people. It was a Christmas miracle, I tell you.
“Okay! I’ll tell them we have to have this medication before we take off, or he will have a seizure on the plane!!” Raquel said.
She rushed off. I continued helping JD and Daniel get settled. I said a prayer or two, and I decided not to fret. No need. Fretting cannot help. Only Providence, Raquel, and the TSA could help us now.
And just like that, she was back, carrying all of it! The Macbook, the meds, and the sippy cup, all present and accounted for!
Pure gratitude and elation! I was so relieved! I thanked her profusely. I handed her a wad of cash as I deplaned in Georgia, I wrote Delta airlines and told them that Raquel deserves a promotion and a pay raise.
Thank you, Heavenly Father, and thank you, Raquel!
*******The Christmas Crash**********
My parents were waiting at the airport to pick us up, and I don’t know what I would have done without them. The next day my persistent, chronic, manageable level of hip pain morphed into a roaring, uncontrollable monster, and the rest of Christmas vacation has been a blur for me. I do not know what is wrong with my hip. I did get a steroid shot. I thought, at the very least, it will help my bursitis, and it did help for a few days.
But then I took a four-hour car trip, and the problem is back. I can’t sit down but for a few minutes, lying in bed at night is the worst, stairs are torture, but walking around doesn’t bother me at all.
I will be returning to California with a newly heightened resolve to solve my hip problem, but it is also one of those things that I will have to trust God for. Thankfully, I am in good hands. The Lord cares about our pain.
15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.