I met a very kind and generous person this past summer on a flight home from London, and today I realized why our paths crossed. Andrea reminds me of my late sister, Crystal. She shares the same kind and generous spirit towards humanity. Chrissy was always an advocate for the underdog and truly sympathetic of their plight. Andrea has those same qualities.
Crystal Anne Palanza
30 Nov 1955 - 21 Nov 1981
Yes, I've been known to spark up a conversation inflight, and I've met some very nice people as a result, but the friendship was over when the wheels touched down. We didn't exchange contact information, nor did we become online friends. We shared a few hours of interesting banter then went on our merry way. With Andrea it was different.
When I took my seat we bumped arms. We both smiled and exchanged a few niceties as we settled in for the long flight home. She was heading to Maine for a family wedding, and I was coming back from a business trip. I was pleased to have a nice seat mate.
As we perused the movie selections, I paused on The Notebook. Andrea leaned over and said, "It's great, but you'll need tissues for that one. " I usually forego the tear jerkers as I think it best not to subject others to bouts of sobbing, but it felt like I was in good hands so I hit play. Shortly into this touching love story the tears started flowing. As I fumbled through my purse in search of tissues, Andrea placed a packet on my table. She patted me on the back and gave me a warm smile. Not a word was spoken, but so much was said. I moved on to my next selection, About a Boy, which required a few more tissues and finished up with Pride and Prejudice making it the perfect hat trick! Several times during this emotional movie marathon I caught Andrea's warm smile from the corner of my eye.
We chatted a bit during the final half hour of the flight and she gave me her Facebook info. She assured me that she didn't normally do that, but she felt a connection. I was happy to connect with her. Through our daily postings we've learned more about each other. She invited me to join a food group and also sent me a private message sharing more about herself and her background. She said she wasn't sure why we were supposed to connect, but her instinct told her it was the right thing to do. I'm so grateful that she did.
When life places a person in your path that reminds you of someone you've loved and lost, it's time to give thanks. Thank you, Andrea.