November 14, 2011
Anonymity, ME Newsletter, Vol. 4, Issue 46
Across the aisle, I notice two ladies with CIE Tour bags. Turns out they are sort of on the same path as I am. They are flying in to attend the 2011 Solheim Cup LPGA at Killeen Castle Golf Club, Dunsany, County Meath, Ireland. Then they will return to Dublin to meet the same tour I have signed on to. We head towards international check-in together and it’s nice to know I’ll see at least some sort of familiar faces when I get back there.
Customs on the Ireland side is equally non-threatening. Fast moving line, three agent booths, smart travelers with required documents in hand. Where are you going? Business or pleasure? Stamp, stamp. Enjoy your stay!
Luggage arrives promptly and the golf ladies are off on their adventure. Mine hasn’t come through yet, but in those few short moments of standing still, I find myself consoling another traveler. She’s come in from Canada, called home by her mother to see her father. He’s fading from cancer and his end is near. I flash back to Father’s Day 2002. Standing in Hallmark, crying over cards, trying to pick out the best one possible and knowing it may be the last one I buy for him. I remember my own father’s slow failing over 15 years, and how it sped up his last three days. I remember calling to tell him that Jeff and I were headed to Frankenmuth. “I guess I’ll never get to go there,” he said, “or to the Grand Canyon.” I remember calling the next day and telling him about our trip and the ridiculously marvelous Dale Earnhardt Christmas water globe Jeff had found at Bronner’s and had to have. My father was too weak to respond, but my mother assured me he was listening and smiling. I remember being just about to turn into our friends’ driveway the next day, early evening, when I got the call he had passed. Three quick days.
I tell the weary traveler beside me to share her happiest memories with him, even if he seems unaware. My case rounds the corner first, so I grab it and then turn back. I can’t walk away without offering an impulsive hug. I surprise myself by saying, “I hope your father finds peace. Peace be with you, too.”
I want to share my name and phone number so she can call me. It takes an effort to do so, but I walk away and don’t turn back. Sometimes anonymity is best. I walk away self-acknowledging why I am here. Knowing now, I’ll never have to look back and say, “I guess I’ll never see Ireland.”
Posted by jaselin at November 14, 2011 07:07 PM