Editor’s note: Monica Drahonovsky takes a break from book reviews in her column Monica Reads and writes about getting to know a new friend on a plane.
By Monica Drahonovsky, Monica Reads
Are you a lonely traveler? Well I am not. On my recent excursion to visit my sister in New Hampshire, I was lucky enough to sit with a very interesting woman.
We exchanged a hello and she immediately fell asleep for the first half of the journey. Okay. It was only 5:30 a.m. so we both had been up and on the go since 3 a.m.
We changed planes in Detroit and she asked what my seat number was, and she smiled. “Well, I guess we were meant to be travelling partners,” said my new friend. Pam is from South Kingston, R.I., was interesting and funny and on a mission.
Her mission was to travel to Jefferson, Wisc., and pick up her disabled younger sister who lives at St. Coletta’s Home and has for the past 20 years. She was going to pick her up, have lunch at the airport, they would both travel back to South Kingston, R.I. and be home by 10 p.m. WOW. I was impressed.
She and her other sisters and a brother had bought a house in Rhode Island and were looking for another disabled woman to share the home with their sister. The sisters would hire some help for round-the-clock supervision and all the sisters and brother would be involved in her life at a closer range.
What a goal. Her sister is developmentally disabled and has been happy with where she lived. They would show her the house over Christmas and bring her home in June. They had a big shower planned for her and her new home and roommate. I liked this woman. What else did we have in common?
She had raised three children and then adopted an Ethiopian child and another boy who had lived in foster care and both were now in their “forever” home together. I had lived in Ethiopia and my two oldest sons were born there. I knew about the poverty and needs of Ethiopians.
Yes, pictures were shown. Yes, she asked about my life. Yes, she was interested in my helping my sister in New Hampshire and was travelling back to my home and family in Wisconsin. Yes, she was supportive, upbeat, chatty and wonderfully involved in living each day to its fullest.
We both skirted the topics of political nastiness. She mentioned her anger at President Trump for declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel and quickly stated that she did not know about my political thoughts. I said President Trump had only declared in public that it was the capital and was not moving fast to get the U.S. embassy moved. I told her it wasn’t his idea but that it had been determined by other President’s before him. One never-Trumper and one pro-Trumper got along and did not pull out each other’s hair.
We disembarked, walked to the terminal and hugged each other good-bye. Thanks so much for companionship on my trip. Pam from South Kingston, R.I., you rock! Happy travels and enjoy the holidays and your lovely family.