I am bleary-eyed at the Orlando airport. There’s a reason why the infamous “they” tell you to get to the airport early – long security lines extended far into the lounge area. We sighed as we inched our way through, a bright green electronic sign informing us that the process would take 35 to 45 minutes.
Earlier we dropped off a rental car. As I handed the gentleman the keys, he asked me if I was Parisienne. I smiled “no” pause “but is that a compliment?” “Oh yes!” He replied. My children laugh at me as the glow of an early morning compliment radiates off my 57 year old non-Parisienne skin.
And then we trudge our sleepy way to security. Unfortunately, the compliment did nothing for a bad hip, so my ego has been kept in check.
A busy, international airport is an odd way to end a family funeral. You go from familiar to anonymous; from engaged in conversation to people-watching; from significant to one more passenger in an enormous travel machine.
Yet somehow it works. It’s a bridge between worlds, and I am not expected to communicate on this bridge. I simply cross it.
Death and funerals are a pause in life’s paragraph. A pause before continuing into more sentences, paragraphs, and chapters. They are an important pause, sometimes changing the rest of the story. Many resolutions based on the brevity of life have happened at the death of a loved one.
Many would voice sadness over this – the question of why it takes something as permanent as death to make us pause and reflect. I think it is a gift. We are usually far too busy with the ordinary to realize that perhaps change is in order. But then, in the middle of the ordinary, the everyday chores stop so that we can remember a life, and in remembering reflect on our own.
So in this airport moment between worlds, I stop. I pause. I pray.
I thank God for the gift of life, and the gift of death – the circle of a broken world on a journey to redemption.
The moment passes, the flight is ready to board. We are on our way home.