There’s a story that hasn’t been told. One that centers around a friend, a necklace, and a plane ride. Today is the right time to tell it.
The moving truck was filling up fast. The rooms empty except for a few cardboard boxes. I got a phone call from a friend saying she wanted to stop by. I dreaded this moment. When she arrived we chatted until it was time to say goodbye. She handed me a card and a silver padded envelope. I didn’t want to cry so I waited to open it after she left.
Inside the envelope was a necklace. A lotus flower fashioned on a silver circle. “New Beginnings” the card read, “wear your necklace daily as a reminder to embrace new experiences and opportunities…just like the lotus, rising from muddy beginnings into something beautiful and celebrated.”
And I did wear it. Everyday. It helped me walk around the block. Unpack a box. Get a library card. Sleep at night. Meet a friend.
It became a habit to wear it. Like brushing my teeth. I felt that by wearing it, my dear friend, who I was used to talking to almost daily on the phone was right there with me.
She did stay with me. (And still does.) A phone call from her makes my day. We always chat easily. She’s honest and real and funny as hell. She’s also a very experienced traveller (with and without babies). Naturally she was the first person I called after booking my sans Ryan trip back East. She was confident I could handle it.
The morning of the trip arrived. My bags were packed. I got dressed and put on my necklace. I can travel by myself, across the country, on a plane, with a baby (a very squirmy baby).
We went through security. A lady folded my stroller for me. We boarded the first leg of our flight. I was seated next to a man who had twins, twice. He had nothing under his seat so he gave me his extra room. We arrived in Dallas. We had lunch. We survived our 3 hour layover. We had our last bathroom stop before boarding. I pushed Abigail into the bathroom. She was playing with my water bottle and lost her grip. I quickly reached down to grab it before it fell on the floor. When I stood up I felt a tug. My hand went to my neck. The necklace had been caught on the handle of the stroller and was now broken.
My eyes were filling up fast. I didn’t have time to cry. Our flight was boarding. I put the necklace into my backpack and headed out of the bathroom. A few hours later we landed in Richmond. I had done it.
I couldn’t believe the timing of the necklace breaking. In the past few months I had grown so much. I was stronger and braver. It wasn’t just the necklace that helped me adjust. It was the thought behind it. A friend I never wanted to leave unselfishly gave me all the support in the world. Every call, every text, every note she continues to bless me with makes it a little easier to be away. It isn’t surprising that her name is Joy.