Help is always around…even if we are having trouble feeling it in the moment

Matt and Tom in the front seat (Jack and me in the back)…having a wild day!

Our flight to Philadelphia on Saturday morning was delayed getting out of Burlington, which left us about 20 minutes to make our connection. There were a number of us on the plane flying to Mexico, and so we hoped they’d hold the flight if we were late, but we sprinted and got to the gate just as the final passenger was boarding. Our hearts were pounding, we were out of breath, sweating and happy as we arrived at the gate on-time, behind the last few entering passengers.

The woman ahead of me tried to give her boarding pass to the attendant but she wouldn’t take it, saying that we were too late. “What?!” There are people going down the ramp right now!” my fellow passenger gasped, trying to catch her breath. The airline worker was stone-faced. Then about 15 of us, all who were booked for that flight (which was still sitting at the gate, as they loaded passengers) started asking why we could not get on. The 2 women behind the desk began looking things up on the computer so we waited and waited and when someone asked what they’d found out, one of them looked up said, “I can’t deal with any of you right now. I am finishing up this flight.” The long and the short of it was, that they had filled all of the seats (probably had over-booked the flight) and we were sent to customer relations.

Our unhappy little pod of 15 made our way to the customer service desk and were told that we would be put on stand-by for the 7pm flight (it was currently 10 a.m) which was full also, or we would be guaranteed a seat on the 7:30 a.m. flight the next morning. My visions of sitting on the beach, smelling that wonderful sea air, under the full, Cinco de Mayo moon, seemed to be fading and were rapidly being absorbed by the dismal thought of spending the night in a Philadelphia airport hotel under cloudy, diesel-fuel-smelling skies.

Some people were accepting the stand-by tickets, others were trying to get any  flight out of Philadelphia, and I was becoming more discouraged as several hours ticked by. At one point I plopped down in  a seat outside the customer service area, and closed my eyes. I could feel a cauldron of negative emotion swirling around my gut. I kept trying to imagine arriving that evening and seeing Matt (my son who was flying in from L.A.,  and would be waiting for us) but I didn’t really feel any better…my efforts felt insignificant and puny.

Suddenly my phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number but answered it anyway. The voice on the other end said, “Hello Mary? This is Brother Michael. I used to work with Sister Margaret…” Sister Margaret (a Catholic nun) was my beloved spiritual advisor who had died several years ago. I wrote about her on this blog once.  She was well-known for saying goodbye with the words, “Have a wild day!” Brother Michael (a monk) had never called me in all of the years that I had known him. He had a very mundane question about, of all things, the skin balm that I make, but I knew that this call had nothing to do with that.

Sister Margaret’s name brought a peace to me that felt like a hug. I hung up the phone and my son Tom (who had been very patiently working with the customer service people for the past 2 hrs) handed me a piece of paper with an 800 number, and asked me to call it and tell them what happened. I called and immediately got the sweetest guy named Jeremy* who put us on the 3:30 flight to Charlotte NC with a connector to Mexico. I told him that the customer relations people had already tried this flight and it was over-booked. He said, “Well, I’ve just put you on it. You’ll get in at 8:15 tonight.”And he was right.

“You are not just a meaningless fragment in an alien universe, briefly suspended between life and death, allowed a few short-lived pleasures followed by pain and ultimate annihilation. Underneath your outer form, you are connected with something so vast, so immeasurable and sacred, that it cannot be spoken of – yet I am speaking of it now. I am speaking of it now not to give you something to believe in, but to show you how you can know it for yourself.” Eckhart Tolle

*When I got home, I looked up the meaning of the name Jeremy….it means, “God will raise up.”

43 thoughts on “Help is always around…even if we are having trouble feeling it in the moment”

  1. Wow! What a “wild day” that was! Sister Margaret was surely listening to you. I wonder if Brother Michael had any idea that he could be the messenger. What a beautiful unfolding of events. And if you had not stopped to center yourself in a Light space with the intention of shifting what felt like negative energy…. who knows? Thanks, Mary.

  2. Mary – I got goosebumps reading this! What a powerful message and quote. Thank you and welcome home.


  3. What an inspirational story! The first of many travel related adventures, I hope.

  4. Stunning haircut (you look about 30!)! Terrific family photo! Powerful, message-filled story!

  5. Mary, just like this story and Jeremy appearing in your life from nowhere, I believe it is not happenstance that I read your message this morning. I am feeling so overwhelmed right now with the pressures of life, having to find a nursing home for aging parents that cannot care for themselves at their home anymore. On Mother’s Day, I found my mother in law standing naked except for a tee shirt in her driveway. She didn’t know my husband or me. She said she was waiting for us, but she didn’t know us. Caregivers come for part of the day, but it is not enough. Other relatives are critical of everything we are doing. They are in another city and are not dealing with the day to day as I am. I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders right now. But Mary, your post helped me to remember, I am not alone. My dear friend, Sandy, has offered to go with me today to look at nursing homes. I know that bigger things are at work helping me. I just need to take a big breath and remember that. Thank you, Mary<3

    1. Bless you Molly. I know things will work out for you but the NOW time is difficult. So very thankful you have a dear friend to help you with decisions. When my husband was ill and I had to make such decisions many folks thought mean things about me too. They didn’t understand what I had to deal with. Now I have my mother to care for, life has it’s challenges! You will be in my prayers Molly, take that big breath and know you have lots of support here with the Flock!

    2. Dear Molly, know you have much love and support here from your friends at White Feather. Do not let the critical comments of relatives distract you from what you know is your most loving intention to do the best you can for you parents. You will be in my prayers as well as your parents. Blessings and love.

    3. Oh, Molly, Molly. Been there. Done that. Bought the tee shirt — not the one your MIL was wearing.;-}

      You’ve entered the Land of One Foot in Front of the Other, where the only rule is to keep breathing and make the best decision you can at the time you have to make it based on the best information (and love) you have at that moment. Ask for help. It will appear. And know that this, too, will pass and you will know that you did the best you could do.

      Thinking of you and sending you love and support.

      1. Jill, your words brought tears to my eyes. Like a lot of you, I’m also dealing with my elderly mother and feeling stretched way beyond my abilities. I have to repeat these words every day “You will do your best and it will be good enough”, along with your words about making the best decision with the info you have at the time. It couldn’t have been better said – thank you.

    4. Molly, blessings and much love to you. You are obviously a kind, caring person and you will do right by your parents. Will be keeping you in my prayers, and hoping the perfect spot is awaiting your folks.

    5. Oh Molly…you are so right, bigger things are at work helping you and the best resolution will present itself. I hope you take time to be kind to yourself…you are doing important, loving, work and it is hard…Blessings to you, and a big hug too!

  6. Mary
    Love your blog. My brother passed away. I am struggling. Would you say a words to open and close at his Celebration of life. June 10th. He was here when you did our wedding. It would mean so much to me.
    Chrissey & Chris

  7. Ah Mary, once again you have shown us an affirmation of our constant support, a wonderful example of ‘how to….’ ! Blessings to you for this sharing.

    You have a beautiful family, and your haircut looks wonderful! More pics, please. 🙂

    1. Thank you Suzanne! I will for sure get another photo up

  8. Oh, Molly, I ache for you. I have been there, and all I can say is that you will remember the best of the older people in your life once this phase has passed. I worried that I would only remember my mom as she was after her fall (and brain injury), but my memories are of early times what a wonderful mom she was. Best of luck with your mother-in-law, and tune out the critical voices. You are one the scene, making the best decisions you can at the time. A perfect scenario doesn’t always exist, but the best one available does. And Mary, I had a Philly incident similar to yours, waiting to fly to Spain to visit my niece. The dread that things are not going according to plan is almost physical. But we find the Jeremys who treat us like PEOPLE and the tension starts to fall away. I’m so glad the rest of your trip brought you peace.

  9. Dear Mary…Oh! Your words are especially poignant for me this morning. My beloved Romeo died yesterday…. a severe stroke or colic….not sure. His death was swift and shocking. I am awash with emotion and uncertainty and yet I know in my heart that he is with me…almost feels as if he is within me. I feel his essence filling me, stretching me from the inside out with his enormous heart and his connection to me. Your faith and your so-uplifting stories will carry me through the navigation of my grief as I recall the god-like essence of my love for such a beloved friend and partner. Thank you all for the support and encouragement I have received from not only you but all your wonderful followers.

    1. Oh Debra, I am so saddened for the loss of your beloved Romeo. Yesterday you wrote that the vacation we seek lives inside us. Likewise the peace we seek. May your heart be open to the love and healing grace of God as you mourn your dear dog, your pet and best friend. Those kind of connections that “stretch you from the inside out” do not die or fade away. They are now and forever will be part of the fabric of who you are, forever enriched by the days you and Romeo lived and loved life together. A tender hug to you, Susan

      1. Hi Susan…thank you for your kindness. Romeo was actually my horse and yes, the peace you speak of does live inside. Thank you for the reminder to stay open to the grace of god and the everlasting essence of my wonderful connection with my beloved boy.

    2. Debra, I am so sad to hear about Romeo. They leave gashes in our hearts, don’t they, but how blessed you both were to have each other. I love that you are feeling his essence within you, you expressed this so eloquently.

    3. May your Romeo soar with the wings of Pegasus, free of infirmities and pain, to that eternal home you made just for him—forever in your heart. Let peace find you both.

    4. What a special relationship you and Romeo shared…and will share forever…may the warm memories begin to heal your heart. I read once that that very special kind of deep love and connection will somehow trump the loss…that it is eternal… an infinite connection…sending a warm hug to you.

      1. Dear Sally, Kelly, Cheryl and Kathye…thank you for your thoughtful insights and responses. Your support means so very much to me. It helps more than I am really able to express right now.

  10. Mary, first off, what a sweet, sweet photo of you & Jack and your sons….you look so young, happy and worry free in that photo! Considering all of the ordeals you had to go through to get to Mexico….I am so glad that it happened like it did and Jeremy was your angel in disguise….

    1. Thank you Julie! I love the idea of Jeremy as an angel

  11. Love the photo too! You look like a happy group. AND, I am glad you are back home with us Mary. We did miss you. Isn’t it wonderful how those phone calls just come “out of the blue” at times? When I first moved into this little house the wiring was crazy. I got sparks and snaps every time I turned on a light and was fearful of touching any switches. A gal from church called me to see how I was doing. She had never called before and I barely knew her (she never called again) but when I told her my dilemma she said “You know my husband is a retired electrician don’t you?” No, I didn’t know that. Well they came over and he clipped a few wires and changed things around and in no time everything worked fine, no sparks flew! That phone call was no “accident”.

  12. In my WFF of quotes, I copied some time ago what was shared by one of us (now I am going to remember to add “who” in my folder – whoever it was, thank you!) because it is a quote that could be summoned in situations such as Mary’s airline delay, “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” ~ Julian of Norwich

    Speaking of well, my goodness Mary, your new “do” is stunning, chic and utterly fun! Thank you for sharing the family photo – what a handsome family!

  13. Dear Mary,
    Welcome home!
    What a very handsome group of men you were traveling with!
    Your new hair style is charming and suits you perfectly.
    And, very glad you survived the airline shenanigans.
    From Fran

  14. Mary, so glad to get up in the morning and find Mary again. I love the story and am eager to hear about more about your vacation. Welcome home. Bet Luke and the feline darlings are happy to see you too. Your new “do” is just right on you,

  15. Hi Mary, you certainly have a lovely family…

    I’m grateful to be back in the saddle/ WFF blog again,
    love the “wild day” wisdom/reminder…

    “Sometimes one must travel far to discover what is near.”…
    sums up the theme from this 1986 children’s picture
    book by Uri Shulevitz called The Treasure….

  16. I was getting ready to unsubscribe to your blogas I have (too)many emails to read,but your messenger(s) were also my messenger(s )so now I’m sticking with you.

  17. Your incisive description of ‘airline hell’ is what makes flying my least favorite form of transportation. (Remember when it used to be fun and you were not treated like cattle being herded for round-up?) If your luggage made it with you, that’s a miracle in itself!

    The spiritual imprint that Sister Margaret made upon you, dear Mary, is precisely the wellspring we come to drink from everyday here on this blog. I’d venture your far reaching impact still brings ‘wild smiles’ to the good Sister, whatever plane she exists on. [No pun intended.:)]

    The sassy new haircut looks great! And you got back just in time— I think I was on the verge of snarls and withdrawals….

  18. Jeremy was the best part of your travel day, wasn’t he! I read your blog each day Mary, expectantly, digesting it slowly, coming back several times to read the comments. You never disappoint! Love your new haircut!

  19. I just want to thank everyone for their uplifting comments regarding my feelings and handling of my dear in-laws and all the lovely prayers:)). My day went much better than expected and although there is “no room at the inn” for my aged in-laws currently, I was presented with some stop gap measures that just might work. Adult day care and someone to help them in the evenings until we can get into a nursing home. I no longer feel the weight of the world on my shoulders. You all are so kind and loving – thank you!!

    Debra, I’m so sorry about your horse, Romeo:( I had to put down my now grown boy’s childhood pony, Cinnamon, two weeks ago. My heart hurt for days missing his little good morning whinny and hay breath kisses. I know you are aching from it and I am praying for you.

    Mary, thank you too for taking the time to write to us all – you help so many in doing that. This blog helped me to get through my day, reminding me that I am never alone. Bless you…… your haircut 😉 Molly White

  20. Oh Debra, So sorry for your loss. What sad news.
    Mary, you guys look so in the vacation mode! A wild ride! Your hair is elegant. You’ve become Dame Mary Muncil.

  21. I love the new haircut Mary! It looks so cute on you.

    I am glad to hear things worked out well for you on your trip with you sons. It sounds like once you got there it was an amazing time.

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