|"A miracle is something that validates who you are rather than diminishes who you are." ...|
She ran this way and that, through the terminal, near where they were sitting in the waiting area, back into the duty free shops she visited when she had it with her last, in and out of the restroom and everything in between, until through "This can't be happening ...", the horrible realization came that yes this is happening. Fortunately she carried her passport and ticket in a separate purse, and was able to board the flight after telling the boarding agent what happened. But the rollaboard was gone, and with it many expensive and irreplacable possessions.
Their flight home passed slowly in a cloud (no pun intended) of hopelessness, sadness, and (as she would share with me later) a sense of utter defeat, all compounded by her chastising herself unrelentingly, mercilessly for losing the rollaboard. Their wonderful visit to the United Kingdom was suddenly and rudely wonderful no more (or at least its ending wasn't). The future suddenly didn't look too bright either.
When I grew up South Africa, my parents employed two women full time. Kerece Mahlahla "Kaki" Morrison was our cook, and Ernestina "Tina" Tshatshelo was our housekeeper. When my siblings and I left our parents' home, there was no longer a need for either position, and with heartfelt goodbyes, Kaki and Tina returned to their homes in the Transkei where I subsequently visited them. One day I asked Kaki about Tina. She told me Tina had died. Tears sprang to my eyes. Tina was family to me. "What happened?" I asked. She told me Tina was traveling on a bus to visit relatives in another area of the Transkei. With her, she had a suitcase. In that one suitcase was all her worldly possessions. I want you to get this: one suitcase, and in it, everything she owned in the world (sit with that in your lap like a hot brick for a moment). Somewhere / somehow on the journey, she lost that suitcase. With all her worldly possessions. Tina died, Kaki told me, of a broken heart.
I shared Kaki's story about Tina with my daughter, setting the stage for empathy ie that I got what it was like for her. But more than that, I was setting the stage to begin picking up the pieces and moving on, that inevitable next step after any setback. The flight was uneventful, they landed safely, and she returned to her home in Santa Barbara that night. She said she was sad and wanted to sleep, so I didn't push for further conversation.
What she did was she got on the phone, and stayed on the phone. She called to find out who to call at Heathrow. She called Heathrow to find out who to call about a lost article of luggage. She learned the lost and found facility at Heathrow is contracted out to a private enterprise. She called to find out who to call at that private enterprise. Then she called them ... and then she waited on hold for ... two ... hours. I would have uttered a few choice expletive deleteds after the first hour or less, and hung up. She didn't. She hung on. She intended to find her rollaboard.
When she finally did get through to someone at the Heathrow lost and found facility, a brief conversation ensued (description, details, defining markings etc), more waiting, more on hold, and then "Yes, we have it, Luv" (you may embellish those magic words with your own very best inimitable Queen's English British accent). And the best part is they're sending her rollaboard back, not to Los Angeles where her flight landed, not to a depot in Santa Barbara where she lives, but right to her front door. Look: whichever way you spell it, that ... my friends, is a miracle.
We still don't know what happened to her rollaboard at Heathrow. In all likelihood, we never will. But here's what we do know: she wasn't stopped or dictated to by the circumstances. The circumstances said to her (and kept on saying to her) "Your rollaboard is lost, get used to it.". She on the other hand, kept on replying "Thank you for sharing, and I'm going to find my rollaboard and get it back, no matter what you say". Then she, putting her money where her mouth is, proceeded to do just that. It was a triumph of epic proportions - a human triumph ("human", because human beings lose things and sometimes find them again) and epic nonetheless.
There's one more thing to bring forth in this context to complete it. It's that bringing intention to bear on our world, without any foreseeble guarantee of success, isn't the ordinary way of doing business. There's another extraordinary world on the other hand, in which getting our hands and feet on the levers and dials and pedals of intention, causes things to happen which ordinarily are considered no-chance impossible. That's possibility. It's this world I'm committed to introducing to my children.
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|© Laurence Platt - 2019||Permission|