After a week-long trip through some of the most beautiful, breath taking areas that America has to offer we boarded American Airlines flight 2970 in Rapid City South Dakota to start our trip home. Of all the wonderful, stunning things we saw on our trip, perhaps the most beautiful was something I saw in the fuselage of this small jet on the final leg of our journey.
As we were ready to board, the flight attendant called for a young brother and sister to board first. I watched as their mother (presumably) gave them hugs and kisses and then sent them down the boarding ramp with a stranger, into a plane full of strangers. As a parent, I couldn't help but feel her angst.
A few minutes into the flight we hit some awful turbulence. I was near the back of the plane and if I had not had a seat belt on I'm sure that I would have been thrown into the ceiling. When we got through the rough air I looked up the isle this is what I saw.......
The little girl who had boarded the plane without any adult to reassure her was being comforted by the lady next to her. I later learned that the lady's name is Darlene and she told me that the little girl, maybe 11 or 12 years old, was scared due to the turbulence and she asked Darlene to hold her hand. Darlene seemed happy to help and she held the little girl's hand off and on throughout the entire flight. Using her beautiful smile and reassuring words, Darlene continued to comfort the little girl and she held her hand again during the landing. I feel blessed that I was able to witness it all.
A career in law enforcement can sour a person toward humanity. I've been very fortunate because the Almighty has always sent good people to cross my path as reminders that there are plenty of good folks that walk among us.
This past week was full of those reminders. From the young kids who come from all over America to work summer jobs at Yellowstone, to the wranglers at the KBarZ Ranch (Jeremy and Miss Levi) who took us on our horseback ride at the base of the magnificent Rocky Mountains, folks were just great.
But watching Darlene take on the responsibility of comforting a frightened little girl was perhaps the highlight of the week! Thanks Darlene!