This morning started very early.
Maggie finished packing late last night and went to see friends. She got back just before 4 am because she’d promised to wake me up at 4 to take her to the airport.
I showered, packed the car, and drove her to the airport.
We got there at 530. I pulled over and opened the rear hatch to get her bags. A skycap asked if she needed help and Maggie must have said yes because he tried to take the bags from me.
“I have them,” I said.
“The young lady asked me to help,” he said.
“Thank you, I have them,” I said again.
I rolled her bags to the curb. He followed me. He tried to take them from me again.
“Thank you,” I said, “her mom just died, I’m going to take them through that door and drop them for her.”
“You can’t leave your car there,” he said, “you’ll block up my traffic.”
I headed for the door.
“I’m going to get the police,” he said.
I rolled the bags into the airport lobby and Maggie and I hugged briefly.
True to his word, the sky cap had gone to get the police and two women officers were coming back with him as he gestured to my car.
I got in it and drove away. My car was there for less than two minutes.
I’ve been at that airport waiting to be picked up and watched people leave their cars for 45 minutes. The police barely glanced their way.
I don’t know if I’ll get a ticket in the mail. I don’t think they wrote it. If they do I’ll pay it.
I just don’t understand what was so important to him that he had to make sure I was punished – but it was very important to him. Important enough to forgo potential customers to go get the police.
I was mad at him as I drove away.
I pulled into the cell phone lot to wait until Maggie cleared security.
I suppose he did us a bit of a favor. Maggie and I couldn’t have a long and drawn out goodbye that wouldn’t have been good for either of us.
But what was so important that a father who has just lost his wife can’t carry in bags for a daughter who as just lost her mother?
Maggie gave me the all-clear.
People at security and at bag check in had annoyed her. I reminded her that we’re a little raw right now.
Maybe I wouldn’t have gotten mad at the Sky Cap if Kim was with me.
Actually, I’m sure I wouldn’t.
She would have gotten mad at him for me.
Once Maggie was through security, I met Kevin for breakfast. On my way home I stopped off for a few items at Walgreens.
There was a father and two kids ahead of me in line.
They were taking forever.
They had completed their purchase and the little girl was chatting with the clerk while the little boy said to his father, “I’ve been thinking what I want, it’s only one thing. One thing.”
His father asked him what it was. The boy told him and that father said, “that sounds reasonable.”
The little boy said, “oh, and there’s another thing.”
I laughed. The father smiled at me and said, “you knew that was coming didn’t you.” He nodded at his daughter and said, “then she’ll want two things too.”
The clerk asked them what the age difference was in the kids.
The father said “14 months exactly. He’s November 8th and she’s January 8th. All of the grandchildren were born on the eighth of the month.”
“Uh-uh,” said the little girl and mentioned that their cousin’s birthday was the 18th.
“Well,” said the clerk, “they all have an 8 in them.”
This conversation went on way longer than the time it took me to take Maggie’s bag into the airport and back. Way longer.
The father took his items, thanked the clerk, and said goodbye to me.
The clerk turned her attention to me. She rang in my items and read the bar code off my loyalty card on my iPhone.
“Do you have the app,” she asked.
“I think so,” I said.
“Show me,” she said.
So I tapped on the information icon and then opened the app. She gestured and I handed her my phone. She tapped a bit and found the coupon for 25% off my purchase. She scanned the coupon and pointed at how much I’d saved and prompted me for a high five.
I paid with Apple Pay and the guy behind me said, “you have money in your watch?”
She explained to him how Apple Pay works.
“Be well,” she said.
She always says, “be well.” It’s company policy. All of their clerks say, “be well.”
The way she says it is different. I believe that she means it.
She hands me my bag.
Our transaction took way longer than it took me to take Maggie’s bags into the airport. Way longer.
She smiles as I leave and says, “be well.”
And today I am.