Monday, September 21, 2009

Bootsie

On a flight to LA recently, I got the window seat on the three seat side.

The two guys next to me did a classic frequent flyer insider trick.

There was a woman in front of us in an exit row middle seat. Her husband was across the aisle, also in an exit row.

These two cads offered to give up their seats so this older couple could sit together. (The only thing they wanted was the exit row seat.)

The couple fell for it, and I soon had new seatmates. They didn't know from sic 'em about the legroom screwing they just got.

Lucky me.

No, I mean really lucky.

Bootsie and Ron. Live in the midwest.

He had survived a cancer scare a year earlier.

They decided if he made it thru, they were going to do things they had always wanted to do.

So, they were flying to LA, then on to Vancouver for an Alaskan cruise.

Ron looked great. But just thinking how close he had been to death was such a wake up call. He was living and going to make the most of it.

And so was she.

Bootsie asked about the memorial bracelets I wear.

I explained that they were for three young men who died in Iraq.

She asked if I knew them.

I explained that I knew some better than others. After a few more questions, she had me.

"This one is in memory of my son."

Bootsie misted up.

"I am so sorry. I can't imagine. I've never known anyone that has lost a family member in war."

"See, Ron survived Korea. Lost some friends, but he was never hurt."

"But, me and my ladyfriends stay busy supporting our military. We send cards, and care packages. Anything we can do to let them know we care."

I thanked her as a military dad. I explained how much her gestures mean to those who wear the cloth of our nation. I explained that we have been able to send 7 tons of supplies into Iraq and Afghanistan.

She patted my hand. "You must be a very strong man. Will it be ok if I add you to my prayer list?"

"Bootsie, please. It would mean the world to me. Prayer works."

"And Alan, if the answer is no, I will understand. But it would be an honor for me to have a memorial bracelet to remember your son and all those brave men and women like him. How could I order one?"

"Bootsie, you just did."

It is in the mail.

And the ripple effect continues.

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