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!
Hace sólo unos días que descubrí tu blog y decirte de todo corazón que me encanta! Todavía no me había atrevido a comentar nada pero esta entrada me ha emocionado mucho. Te entiendo bastante… yo hace 3 años me vine a vivir a Alemania y aquí sigo. No es una experiencia fácil pero siempre encuentras una mano amiga entre la multitud.
Muchas gracias por hacerme recordar esos momentos.
Pilar, bienvenida a The 36th AVENUE. La verdad es que los primeros años son dificiles, especialmente aprender un nuevo idioma y adaptarte a una cultura nueva. Gracias a esos milagros que cada dia nos dan fuerza y nos recuerda quienes somos y cuanto Dios nos ama.
Gracias por tomar el timpo de dejarme una notita.
What a beautiful, inspiring message! Definitely touched me. Thanks for sharing 🙂
Ay Desiree! Como te entiendo! Cuando yo vine a los EEUU y llegue a imigracion, el oficial me dijo que me tenian que interrogar mas, me llevaron a un cuarto en donde te hacen mas preguntas y yo no entendia por que. Estaba sola, me sentia desesperada que mi sueno estaba por terminar. Cuando llamaron mi nombre, el otro oficial me pregunto en donde me quedaba, y le dije con amigos en St George, UT, y el me pregunto “por que tu destino es Mc Carran airport” y le dije porque es mas cerca que salt lake city. Me pregunto como conoci a americanos y le dije que su hijo me habia bautizado en la iglesia LDS. El oficial sonrio y dijo “eres mormona” y le dije “si” y el me dijo “ahora entiendo. Tengo muy buen concepto de los mormones y son muy buena gente” entonces me puso el sello en el pasaporte y me dijo:bienvenida a los EEUU.” Sali medio llorando de ahi desesperada porque ya perdia mi otro vuelo a chicago, cuando uno de los empleados de united me vio y me dijo “do you need help ma’am, you seem on a hurry” y le conte lo que habia pasado y el me ayudo con las valijas hasta mi gate, corriendo los dos. Y no solo eso, cuando llegue ahi habia una pareja argentina que me hizo compania hasta cuando entre al avion. Tears were coming from my eyes as I silently prayed to Heavenly Father “Thank you SO much.” Ellos fueron mis angeles ese dia.
Vivian, asi es la vida. Parece que cuando mas lo necesitamos Dios nos recuerda que El no esta tan lejos sino mucho mas cerca de lo que pensamos. Que bendicion el poder confiar que hay un Padre que nos ama, nos conoce y escucha las oraciones de nuestros corazones. Muchisimas gracias por compartir tu historia conmigo… me hizo llorar.
Wow! What a beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing this. It touched my heart and it made me all remember that it is the simple things that touch us the most. Sometimes we think that we have to do grand things when we serve someone else, but it can be a simple thing such as a smile or a conversation to give someone else that glimmer of hope! Thanks again!
I love that you shared this deeply personal & touching story of your life. I think this is so fitting & sums up so much of what we have gone through in our life here. We have been at this STOP in our lives for 5 years. This month we are finally packing the house & moving on to what we hope is our final destination. We feel is it- although the Lord has taken us on some exciting journeys over the years. I can’t wait to see what he has in store for us in the future. Many blessings to you Desiree!!! Hugs!
That was beautiful and left me with tear in my eyes. How inspirational…it has made me think of all the things that I am grateful for. Things that you don’t always think about. We all need to take some time out of each day to reflect and be grateful and think of ways to not only enrich our own lives, but to enrich and bring happiness to others as well. Thank you for your beautiful post.
Thank Y♥U Lisa!
I had an experience like that in an airport in Dallas: after 5 hours in an non-air conditioned airplane on the tarmac hoping for weather to clear at our destination, they finally (at 2:00 in the morning) returned us to the terminal for the night. There were no alternatives; we did what you did and made ourselves as comfortable as we could for the 4 or so hours until things started up again in the morning. While my flight was waiting in the hot plane (without beverage service) we passed the time by playing a game to guess each others’ names – virtually the whole flight participated. Later in the halls of the darkened terminal when we passed each other we could say, “Hey Janet!” and “Hi Steve!” and because we weren’t strangers, things were just a little less horrible. Another good lesson from a bad experience. It’s always good to feel what it really is to be each others’ brothers and sisters. 🙂
I ,ove that! Thank you so much for sharing it with us!
Thank you for sharing this touching story with us. It brought a few tears to my eyes.
It just goes to show how a small act of kindness can make a profound difference to another individual. I wonder if he recalls that interaction? Or if it is just one of many, for him? Regardless, bless him, and his timing. xx
You are so right. Thank you so much for visiting with me today!