Plinky Prompt: Traveling

The final TWA logo

The final TWA logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Tell us about the farthest you’ve ever traveled from home. Down Under.
    • Up, Up And Away….
    • Being the daughter of an airline employee we flew often and for free. We were young and of course, we didn’t appreciate flying to other countries. We went to see Oma and Opa in Vienna, Austria or our (wicked) step-grandmother in Israel. Didn’t everybody visit their grandparents during Spring break?
      Airline employees lived a different life, we flew stand-by, so we never knew if we would get on a flight until the very last moment. My father would cross his arms into a triangle and we knew that was the meaning for “a cliff hanger” or a very close call, a “a very flight.” We had been thrown off planes or “bumped” before.
      My father worked for TWA and his best friend for Pan Am, and the rivalry was fun and real. We flew to France, Israel, the former Yugoslavia, Switzerland, Germany, Rome, Italy, an island off of Greece, a fishing village in Portugal.
      Years later, when I met my husband, we traveled too, some on frequent flyer miles to Hawaii and to Australia, and later on to France for our miserable, cold and rainy honeymoon.
      We were so lucky, as children, to have had those experiences in the days when flying was actually fun.
      Now, flying is a brutal experience, if we have to fly, we go. But, it is not like the old days where you would get excited to fly and look forward to the trip. In the old days, my sister and I HAD to wear matching sweater and skirt sets. I remember the buttons on them were like ceramic balls. The suits were identical, except for the color. We were NEVER allowed to wear anything less fancy, it just wasn’t done. Back then, you also got dressed up to go to the theater.
      We appreciated the traveling we did back when we were children and teenagers, because once we were 21 and the free tickets abruptly stopped, we missed them even more.

    11fp - Trans World Airlines Boeing 727-231; N8...

    11fp – Trans World Airlines Boeing 727-231; N84357@FLL;30.01.1998 (Photo credit: Aero Icarus)

     

The Message

I don’t know how to begin to write this, other than with a hushed voice,  barely a whisper. It is something so important to me and something I believe in, even though I know many will scoff.  I don’t really care, I know what I have felt, seen, heard, experienced. I have felt the chills go up and down my arms, tiny hairs sticking straight up. Others, like me, will rejoice in the affirmation that they are not “imagining things” that “it’s not a coincidence.”  What we know, those of us who believe, cannot be swayed. It is a gift for us, from the other side.

After my father died in 2002 I was lost, overcome by grief and had never felt the breaking of my heart in such a literal way. Life, as I knew it, had ended. No more pep-talks from my dad, no more nurturing hugs, no more inside jokes. My dad had lived his life as a company man, working for TWA airlines for most of his life, well over forty years. He loved TWA, volunteered to be a flight attendant when there was a flight attendant strike; flew to Chicago for milk when there was a milk strike in NY to feed my sister.  He volunteered for anything TWA related; he was not a pilot although sometimes I think he thought he was.

A few days after the funeral, in the bitter, frosty cold, I finally dragged myself out of the house just to get some fresh air. I needed a destination so I drove to a thrift shop a few towns away that I had liked to go to in the past. I walked in, looked around, saw nothing of interest and walked out again. On my way in there was a clear pathway, no litter, no clutter, no loose pieces of paper, nothing. On my way out of the thrift shop not fifteen minutes later I walked down three steps and saw a bright, red, plastic wrapped luggage tag. It said TWA on it. I knew that was a sign from my dad and I crumpled up and cried right there on the pavement. I was overcome yet thankful for the message, he was still with me and I knew he always would be. I carry that card, to this day, in my pocketbook.

I had received messages from my dad, given to me by others, for example the lovely and talented Roland Comtois, a  psychic who channels messages from the dead to the living.  In fact, a message was waiting for me, written down by Roland, before I even appeared at his event. Also, I had felt my father while I was sitting at my children’s school recitals and there would be a rush of wind out of no where.  I knew Dad was watching. Admittedly, the messages, throughout the years became less frequent but to this day, when I need my Dad the most, he is there. I believe this to my core and while my mom gets scared by these stories, I get comforted.

Two weeks ago we drove our daughter to sleep away camp in Connecticut. On the way there I noticed the car ahead of us whose license plate was 222-TWA. I gasped and eagerly showed my husband who is definitely a skeptic. He smiled and I knew that he didn’t believe the way I did but it didn’t matter. “Hi Dad” I whispered. Just nights before I prayed for my dad to be with us; my husband has been unemployed since September and I have been sick with an auto-immune disease for 3 years. I told him, “Mom is really worried” which was true and he always had been so protective of my mom. “We need your help, Dad. Please.”

We dropped our daughter off, and kissed and hugged good-bye leaving her in the arms of her friends she hadn’t seen in a year. There was a lot of happy squealing and shouts of joy, a good time for parents to leave, knowing that she was happy.

The drive home was uneventful except for my husband excitedly shouting “Look at that car!”  I turned my head to the side and right in front of us was the license plate 888-TWA.  My husband became an instant convert,  knowing that the number 8 was a special number between my father and I since I was a little girl. “Thank you Daddy” I said, trying to figure out what the message was.

The pep-talk I had been missing was right in front of me. The glass of water, for me had always been “half empty” but for my dad it had always been “half full.” I used to over-worry everything and now, as my Dad once instructed, “just try to be in neutral” and I was trying, with a grateful smile above. My prayers had been answered, he was letting us know that he was there, he had heard us, he would help.

The lights in our bedroom, on the right side, go dim for hours at a time, and then they come back on later, this has been happening for three weeks now. The bulbs don’t burn out, they just have this pattern, day in and day out, night and day.  For some people it could be explained by a loose circuit. But to me, it’s my father staying in touch and winking.