Last week I took a trip to the ATL. It’s been close to fifteen years since I stepped foot in the city that’s home to one of my many guilty pleasures. You guessed correctly—Atlanta Housewives! I was previously on vacation, but this time I was there to support one of my closest girlfriends, who also happens to be my stylist.
I knew I would be flying. That’s my mode of transportation for all long-distance travel, but it’s not necessarily one I enjoy. It’s definitely the fastest and surprisingly the safest (according to statistics there are more than five million traffic accidents per year compared to twenty airplane accidents per year) way to get cross-country, but with invasive security checks and invariable delays, it’s not necessarily the most convenient. And in spite of the stats, flying can still be quite unnerving. So when I fastened my seat belt I said a prayer, asking God to watch over the pilot, co-pilot, me, and the rest of the brave souls who were taking to the cloudy gray skies that morning.
I peered out the window, looking at the rain, wondering when Denzel Washington was going to show up wearing those oversized shades he sported in “Flight.” I couldn’t help wonder about the emotional and physical condition of the men in the cockpit. Had they been out all night boozing and sexing? I sat next to a very nice young woman who told me she was a nurse. Great! I thought to myself. If we go down and I’m injured, and she isn’t, perhaps she can provide me with medical assistance. LOL!
The plane ascended and we exchanged knowing looks, while observing the empty middle seat. We had lucked out and both took advantage of the extra space. I sat my manuscript on one side and she put her small bag of snacks on the other. Nearing thirty thousand feet, I tried to relax and think about how much fun I was going to have on the trip. I picked up my manuscript and began reading. It’s the third Cass and Nick book. I recently completed it and am now in the editing phase. I’m really pleased at how the story has evolved with many juicy twists and turns.
By the time I had reached the second chapter, we had run into some turbulence—heavy turbulence. I looked toward the nurse who had the window seat and she had dozed off. There it was again—bumping, shaking, dipping. Okay, what can I do? I’m thirty thousand feet in the air. There’s nothing I can do. I realize turbulence is normal, but who’s to say what impact it might have on the plane I was riding? Maybe there was some mechanical weakness. Who could be one hundred percent sure that the next bump wouldn’t send us into a nose dive? It’s moments like these that make me not want to fly.
I sat there wondering what the other passengers were thinking. Most were talking, sleeping, or eating, seemingly oblivious to the plane’s hiccups. And that’s when tragedy usually strikes— when you’re least expecting it. I imagined a survivor saying, “I was talking with my friend, listening to my fav tunes on my iPod when the captain yelled over the intercom that the plane was going down.” I wondered how I would react if the plane was crashing. Would I scream and yell. I hoped not.
What I did do was accept the fact that I was in the sky powerless and that God held the plane and everyone on board in His hands and that it was His call as to whether or not we would go down and if we did, who would die and who would survive.
In that moment, looking over my life, all I could think about was how great it’s been. It hasn’t been perfect. I’ve experienced my share of tragedy, but for the most part, I have no complaints. If God wanted to take me on that day, I would have been okay with his decision.
As a writer, I’m clearly aware that every good story has to come to an end. My life is a story, and yes, one day it will have to come to an end. I’m here writing this blog, so obviously it didn’t end last week, but one day it will. I’m just glad to know that so far I’ve been immensely blessed and I’m trusting, when I come to the end of the final chapter, God will be waiting for me with open arms, a smile on His face, and the following words in His mouth, “Well done, daughter!”