On a flight. 

30,000 feet above what is apparently the north-ish end of New Jersey. Flying along. First time I’ve flown alone in…at least 11 years.
I had a massive panic attack as the plane took off. I can’t do this. I want to go home. I’m so scared.

And as we jerked through the clouds, I gasped as I saw this 

  
And I thought of my Grammy sitting beside me, like she did on dozens of flights.

And I started to cry. I had to turn away from the other passengers to avoid an awkward conversation. 

I’m taking this trip to New York City alone, but Grammy is here with me. This trip will be beautiful, wonderful, and extremely cathartic.

25 minutes til we land. 

The flight has been mostly smooth. When I was a kid, I wasn’t scared of turbulence at all. At 27 and a half, it terrifies me. The only way I can cope with it is when I can see the ground below or can see the horizon. Then I have perspective and can pretend I’m in a car. When we’re in clouds, I can’t handle it. 

But Grammy is here. She used to smile and let me hold her hand if I had a hard time on a plane (I used to hate takeoff and the way the planes rushes forward, now I don’t mind it at all). 

I haven’t thought about Grammy as much as I used to. I feel both guilty and relieved to say that.

She wouldn’t want me to sit and be sad. She’d want me to do what I’m doing now, jetting off to New York City for the weekend to see a play David Bowie is producing. I’m so proud of myself. 

Three years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to fly. 

Two years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to go somewhere I’m not familiar with. 

Last year, I wouldn’t have been able to fly alone.

And tonight, I’m going to eat a delicious meal, get a glass of champagne, and toast to the woman who I miss so dearly, but I’m also going to toast myself.

We’re landing.  

 

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