Airport Watching

I feel a mingling of emotions as I sit and watch people in an airport.

I see the sadness of people telling each other goodbye. Today I saw a woman who was dressed in her Air Force uniform swat betraying tears from her cheeks as she sat across from me while we waited for our flight. It always makes me wonder where people are going, who they are leaving, and how long they are going to be gone.

When I first moved to China to teach, my parents took me to the airport. My mom started crying, which in turn made me cry. After telling them goodbye, I started through security. This nice older gentleman running security said, “Now honey, I don’t let no one go through this line crying. I gotta see a smile before I’ll let you through.” I gave him a weak, forced smile. He didn’t buy it. Seeing my parents a few feet away he said, “Are you going off to college for the first time?” I accidentally let a smile escape as I chuckled that no, I was actually moving to China. He let me through after seeing that smile.

I also see the happiness as they are reunited. I love seeing the hugs, the kisses, the smiles, and sometimes the tears of joy as people are brought back together. That is precious to see. I could sit here at this table sipping my sweet tea and watch all day long.

Oh the things you would see and the stories you would hear if you spent your days working in an airport! I might make that my career in my next life. :]

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