Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Story for Sunday

The continuation from here. So, it's Saturday night, but I'll be too busy with family on Sunday.

So, to recap, so far we have a bad feeling about flight arrangements but a good feeling about going anyway, fun trip to Montreal, bad dreams, we're on our way back home or to our eternal home, whichever comes first, and as was last mentioned the engines are screaming and we are starting to plummet:

The first thing my husband did was to grab our dinner trays and shut our drop down trays. He held my hand on my left, and I held my daughter's hand on my right. Have you ever been on a roller coaster? Sooner or later you find yourself dropping fast. That's the stage we were at in the ride. The only difference is that usually you bottom out and then curve or something. On this belly drop, we would suddenly hit turbulent pockets and be jolted up and down as we plummeted. I watched a lady a few rows up and kitty corner to me with a coffee cup in hand, trying to move it up and down in such a way as to avoid spilling it. All around the plane we could see bits and pieces of food shooting up in the air like popcorn. People were screaming. As we humped and bumped while plummeting ever downward, a guy in the middle of the plane whooped out, "Yee haw! Ride 'em cowboy!" Some nervous laughter ensued. There's always someone to break the tension in any group, eh? Luckily, to my little five year old, this was a welcome break in the tedious boredom of plane flight, throwing her right into an awesome amusement park. She laughed in delight while my husband whispered to me "We're gonna die!"
Then we hit an especially bad bit of turbulence and the left wing swung up, about a quarter turn. For a split second as we found ourselves sideways, the passengers screamed again and I thought we were going to spin out, spiraling to our deaths below. But after a bit of banging around, and I'm sure frantic maneuvering on the part of the pilots, we found ourselves upright again. I think I heard some retching and gagging at this point. Not long afterwards our craft finally leveled off and we continued forward-such a nice word.
Once we were advancing again toward our destination, the pilot came back on, apologizing profusely and just commented that we had encountered a few things that were not on the radar. "Like other falling planes?" I'm thinking. He thought it best we remain seat belted for a little bit longer and the stewardesses immediately jumped into action, going row by row asking everyone if they were alright, if they needed anything, picking up their food trays. Everyone seemed to have lost their appetite.
This first thing my husband said to me was, "I was eating a fruit tart, where is it?" Well, most everybody had lost their appetites. Chileans take occasion to eat over anything. Almost dying makes them appreciate food more. We looked all over but there was no sign of the bar of over processed fruit and grain. When the seatbelt light went off, there was a mad dash for the bathrooms. We just stayed still. I personally didn't want to rock the boat. My daughter went back to her previous occupation of banging the chair in front of her and I tried to dissuade her with drawing games on a magnadoodle-like board. She had the window seat and when we finally broke through the dark clouds into a sunny array of colors as the sun was setting through the clouds, she looked out the window and said, "Oh! There are angels out there, mommy! I see your sister and your aunt!" I said I would take her word for it, because I was not looking down, not even to see familiar angels at that moment. I just wanted to get the flight over with and land. The minutes seemed like hours.
Eventually, with our hearts in our throats, we landed in a rainy Salt Lake City. The pilots and stewardesses had been on their best behavior, thanking everyone for their patience and for having chosen to fly with them. The moment that seat belt light went off, blond lady in front of my wild thing shot up and swiftly moved off the plane before anyone had a chance to grab their bags. To this day I am sorry, wherever you are, Blondie! When we went to get our carry-ons from under the seats in front of us, what should turn up but my husband's fruit bar, smashed under the big bag in front of my daughter's seat. Since we were in the back, we just waited until the last passenger left and then nonchalantly strolled off, a few paces behind the last of the passengers. The pilot was personally thanking everyone for flying and apologizing again for the rough ride. His face was pale. He still looked shaken. My husband shook his hand and thanked him for getting us safely back on the ground and we headed out the breeze way to pick up our luggage and go to our car. Whenever we hit a bump in the road, my husband would yell out, "Turbulence!" He says he couldn't relax until we were out of our car at home once again. I couldn't even look at a picture of a plane without getting knots in my stomach after that. A year later I had to face my new fear of flying again to make a business trip. That was a painful flight. Since then, I have gradually gotten over my post traumatic stress, but that's another post I guess.
This whole experience left me with lots of questions. What did this mean? Do I just have a propensity for clairvoyance, or was this premonition supposed to prepare me for what was to come? It certainly didn't work too well if that's the case. I think I was more nervous because of it. Was it a foreshadowing that I will one day die in a plane crash? You know, preparing me for the big one? Or was it a test, to see if I would trust in the whisperings of the Spirit to guide me in my decisions? What do you think?


caramama said...

I don't know what to think, except that I'm glad you all were okay! That sounds so rough and seriously traumatic!

La folle maman said...

Definitely sounded like a rough flight and quite a learning experience. Your husband's quick reaction with the dinner trays was really impressive. Maybe I'll start listening intently to the "song and dance" the stewardesses do at the beginning of the flight -- I know I haven't really paid attention on the last few flights. I can't say I'd remember to put up my tray so I could put my head down!

Darla said...

Scary! My sisters had a similar incident when returning from China with my oldest sister's second daughter, when they were returning from adopting her. They said that many, many people were softly praying, crying, lots and lots of puking...I don't know! I love flying but sure would be pretty traumatized after something like that! Very well written!

Jeri said...

I think I'm glad I was no where near that plane!!! it would have been vomit city for me.

Anonymous said...

AAHHH!!! i am SO GLAD everything turned out OK!!!!

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

That is one ride I would not have enjoyed! Whatever the reason, you all survived to tell the tale and fly again. i think that experience would have left the most seasoned flier shaken and nervous. Probably you have strengthened faith and listen a little more to His promptings?

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