Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Airports facilitate travel and represent movement. The intent of going to the airport is to go elsewhere. Over the weekend, on my last trip to Michigan before moving to California, weather issues caused me to miss my connection. Unfortunately, the flight I missed was the last one to Kalamazoo and there were no hotel rooms or rental cars available. I was stuck in the airport for more than 9 hours. Obviously, this was not ideal, but I settled in for an all-nighter.

I pulled out my journal, planning to process thoughts related to my upcoming move, but it wasn't long before I realized that in all of my travels, this was only my second time being stranded overnight. The first time was when my dad passed away. Ironically, this second time, it was the eve of Father’s Day.

Having traveled to cities all over the United States and to more than 20 countries, it's a bit unusual that I have only been stranded overnight twice. Even more unusual is that those two times had connections to my father. My first time being stuck was when I found out that he died and this second time it was the eve of Father's Day, but the connections didn't end there. The airport where I was stranded for the second time was in Chicago, the very same airport I was heading to the first time, back in 2011. That led me to thinking about the first anniversary of his death. Though not stranded, I spent that day in an airport as well, in Detroit, in the very same airport that he dropped me off, the last time I saw him.

These connections are not mere coincidence. Four years following his death, as I negotiate the mixed emotions and busyness associated with relocating, I think these connections were my father’s way of saying, "I'm with you." Airports were an obvious choice to let me know that it doesn’t matter where I go, what phase of life I’m in, whether I’m settled or getting ready for a major life change, he’s with me. It’s so like him to use Father’s Day, a time designed to celebrate him and his impact in my life, to give me such a needed and timely gift. I spent Father's Day in an airport, a place designed for movement, being reminded that his presence will remain constant in my life.

Be mindful of life's connections. There may be events that appear coincidental or inconvenient, but if you give yourself space to look a little closer, you may find much more than coincidence and inconvenience. You may find a common thread and a needed message. You may find that life is trying to remind you of your impact, that you are important, that you are on the right track, that you are undeniably loved, and that you have purpose greater than you realize.

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