Today, as I sat in the International Arrival Terminal, I participated in that age old ritual of scanning the long hall for my loved one, walking from the double doors of immigration with his familiar face, big smile and suitcase….when my attention was drawn to a raised voice just in front of me, to what was a tense serious call between a handsome young man and his lady.
After his point was made he lowered his voice again, but I must admit my ear was now trained on what he was talking about; which was their finances. He was very methodical about things stating them in a educational way and in order repeating them slowly and then there was silence and she began her part of the conversation. No, I couldn’t hear what she was saying only that it was a female voice. He came back again and began to infer the seriousness of her lack of concern about their bottom line and no she wasn’t getting what he was saying about where they actually stood realistically on the matter of finances.
The conversation took a turn again and he began to recant the things that could ruin their relationship. #1: Money, then #2: Trust , then #3: Relationship… He still remained calm, explaining, the process, putting life in perspective for her. He continue to talk about her perspective, her feelings and her assumptions about things.
I became distracted by another crowd exiting through the double doors, scanning for my own beloveds face and when he was not in that group; I turned around and the phone was closed.
I got up to stretch my legs and look at the monitor for it was well past time for the plane to land and it had.
As I went back to sit down, the young man got up and pulled out a sheet of copy paper with a great big stylized red heart on it and went to stand right in front, there in the middle, where he could be in full view of the exiting crowd, holding it with two hands and smiling broadly.
I couldn’t help but wonder; who is so important that he went to the trouble and forethought of making a sign with just “his heart” on it? If times were tough, this person was important enough to invest “red ink” on. His smile was so big and there wasn’t one crease in the 8 ½ x 11 piece of paper which meant he had been very careful to keep it crisp and clean.
My eyes wandered off of him and I began to take in the unfolding scene before me…thongs of people flowing out of those double doors, looking tired, dragging suitcases, some with children hanging on to anything they could get their hands on out of sheer exhaustion. And then as each one connected eye to eye with their special loved one; their entire countenance changed, their bodies softened and relief washed over their faces and their bodies. Each one falling literally into the arms of those that they love. Hugs, multiple kisses, grabbing and pressing the very essence into the themselves as if to replenish something long gone dry. It was like watching a refreshing long drink of water.
Every single person had their “life-line” in hand….their cell phone. My loved one called and said: “…we’ve landed and the cabin door is open….I will call you when I get through the line…you know they are really picky about cell phones once we enter the terminal….”
My attention was again drawn to two people standing right next to me….a mother and a son….who was coming and who was going…..I could not tell. They were hugging, kissing each other on the mouth and her hands cupping his young face (he looked to be college aged), and she brought him close and then looked up and down drinking in this boy of hers and kissed him again, and hugged him again, once, twice, three times, and a fourth; both filling up that deep place inside of them which had long since gone dry. His mom wiped away a slow tear of joy from her glasses and they embraced again and this time it turned into arms around each others waist and slowly they walked off and disappeared into the crowd.
My phone rang and jarred me out of the beautiful show that I was watching only to drink in my own loved ones face and to suddenly be engulfed in his strong arms. It really doesn’t grow old that moment when someone you love returns to you…even after 33+ years of marriage, the surge of love still surrounds me.
Everyone else in a room full of hundreds just blur away and there is only you and that person. I felt myself being refueled after a long separation. Then we slowly turned and walked toward our exit.
Oh….that young man….he was still standing there smiling widely, scaning the faces of those exiting, waiting to embrace the one who captured his heart on that piece of paper.
Life is all about relationships. Without them we really don’t have a life.