I made this sign for my Craft Gallery Wall .
I made it while thinking about the many things I am thankful for. Let me explain.
Fifteen years ago when I was on my way here to the United States, I learned something in the most unexpected way.
I remember the cold 30th night of December of 1997 like it just happened.
I had made my way from the Canary Islands to Madrid, from Madrid to London,
from London to Houston, and I was ready to get to my final destination Salt Lake City, Utah.
My heart sunk when the airline worker told us, the passengers, that we could not proceed and fly that night.
We had to…
Not just stop but stay the night in Houston due to a huge snow storm in Utah.
I was just 22 years old, alone, without any American money in my pockets, not sure of what to do or who to call.
I was tired, in the middle of two destinations that I didn’t belong to.
Vulnerable? For sure.
Exhausted? Beyond explanation.
After listening to the passengers complaints it was obvious that the only choice we had was to wait.
One by one those around me started to leave perhaps looking for a good night of sleep in a nearby hotel.
I don’t blame them… I, on the other hand, was too afraid to leave the only place I knew:
By midnight the busy long aisles were almost empty and all I could see or hear was airport personnel
cleaning and getting ready for the following morning.
I laid on the floor with my carry on under my head and in just a few minutes it was clear to me that I was not going to sleep.
I was freezing cold, hungry, thinking, doubting my decision of leaving my beautiful Europe in order to feed my adventureous spirit.
I felt to some extent hopeless.
Then, out of nowhere there was an angel.
He had no wings.
He had no halo.
He was actually dressed in jeans, wearing a baseball cap and a work name tag .
He stood in front of me with his cleaning cart right to his side.
This man that could have been my father, with a heavy accent and extended arms, offered me a flannel blanket,
the same kind that they give you inside of the airplanes.
Kindly he also offered me a cup of coffee.
When I politely declined it, he offered me something even warmer and lasting,
the most friendly sincere smile that anyone at any given moment could give.
I asked him if he spoke Spanish, since my English back then was very limited.
Immediately after my simple question we both looked at each other with a sense of relief.
In that small moment, in a cold empty airport, by the side of a stranger, gate number 43 felt like…
We spoke just for a few minutes and then he went back to work.
I never saw him again but immediately after he left I felt blessed and touched by the goodness of this man.
If I knew he was reading this I would tell him THANK YOU!
Thank you for teaching me a lesson that I pray I’ll never forget.
His simple act of kindness reminds me that no matter where we are, we are never alone.
He taught me that we all can be a friend in those long, cold, empty nights of someone else’s despair.
We can bring warmth and safety to anyone in need.
To anyone that is perhaps scared, for sure vulnerable, and exhausted beyond explanation.
I learned that sometimes the most valuable thing we can give to anyone is
I am thankful for those whispers from Heaven that speak to our souls reminding us that we are loved.
I am thankful for those angels that wear jeans, that go to work everyday, that are ordinary people
doing in the most simple ways EXTRAORDINARY things.
I am thankful for the moments when we are forced to STOP,
to slow down,
to take a break before our final destination.
I am thankful for those that care enough to bring comfort to those that are waiting,
stuck perhaps in one of the many storms that this life has to offer.
I really believe that we can all be a friend to someone else that stands alone
in front of his or her own gate nº43.
Happy Sunday My Friends!