Thanks to Author S Mazing for the prompt Blogging Event #20. Anyone can join! Just go to her site and add your story to her prompt!
Finally! Boarding time! She made her way to her seat and stowed her carry on away. As much as she loved traveling she was not keen on this 12 hour flight. She sat down and fastened her seat belt, wondering who would sit next to her. After a quick look out the tiny window she started scanning the other passengers entering the plane, wondering who would eventually sit down next to her. She glanced out the window again and observed the busy world out there. Then someone sat down next to her.
Please continue. . .
Sue glanced at the woman who sat down beside her. She reminded Sue of her grandmother. She was a tiny lady, her gray hair pulled back in a bun, and a peaceful face. The woman smiled at her. As soon as she was seated and buckled in, the steward came down the aisle checking all the overhead bins and the seatbelts, telling passengers to put their tables up. Then the plan began taxiing toward the runway and in a short time, they were headed into the sky.
The woman turned to her. “Hello, dear,” she said. “How are you?”
Sue nodded. She didn’t feel like talking, but she didn’t want to be rude. “I . . . I’m fine. thank you.” She wiped an unbidden tear from her eyes.
“We have a long trip ahead of us,” the woman said. She frowned a little. “Is everything alright?”
“Yes. It’s just that you remind me of my grandmother.” That was true, but the tear didn’t come from that. It came from the turmoil at her sister’s. She never realized that divorce could be so ugly.
“I hope that’s good,” the woman said, smiling again. “Well, you remind me of my granddaughter. I’m on my way home from visiting her. She’s grown up into a fine lady and married a fine young man. A soldier. He’s stationed here in England. In another year, they are going to return home.” She sighed. “It will be good to have them closer.”
“I’m sure it will be,” said Sue.
The woman yawned. “Oh excuse me. I need to introduce myself. My name is Lydia.”
“Mine is Sue.”
“My, my. Sue is my granddaughter’s name. Well, dear, if you’ll excuse me, I think I might doze. It has been a big day!”
That suited Sue fine. She didn’t want to have conversation right now. She didn’t want to tell anyone she was on her way home from helping her sister through her divorce to tell her fiancé she didn’t want to marry him—or anyone. It scared her. She didn’t want to marry and have children and put them through that sort of thing!
The flight was quiet. A movie came on, but she hadn’t gotten the headset. She pulled out the magazine from the seat in front. It was hard to concentrate. She dreaded telling Philip she wouldn’t marry him. He was the best thing God had ever put in her life. But she couldn’t bear the thought of having that love end, going through a divorce, having children to put through that.
When the steward came by with refreshments, she chose a diet coke. Lydia woke from her nap and asked for coffee. It made Sue smile. Grandma had been a coffee drinker!
Lydia looked over at her. “Are you headed home?” she asked.
Sue smiled and nodded. “Yes. I was visiting my sister.”
“How nice.” Lydia sipped her coffee. “I’m the last one in my family. No parents or brothers or sister. I’m so glad I have my granddaughter and she will be home soon. I am thankful that the Lord gave her to me.” Her eyes had a faraway look. “I do miss the love of my life. He was the kindest man I ever knew. I almost didn’t marry. Cold feet at the thought of settling down.” She chuckled. “After fifty years of married life, I laugh at that.”
Sue listened and found herself wanting to know more about this sweet lady. “You were married for fifty years?”
“Oh, yes. We were nineteen when we married. How the years flew. I wonder how I could ever have had cold feet!”
“Did you ever come close to divorce?”
“We had some rocky moments, but we worked them out, some through talking with successfully married couples. We did know a few! And we talked with each other. We’d see couples sitting in a restaurant not saying a word to each other. They’d just be eating! Ed and I tried very hard, even when our daughter was young to talk together, to discuss the day.” She paused. “Oh, how we worked through some things! Probably would have been easier using boxing gloves! She glanced at Sue and smiled. “Not really. We talked a lot of things out, gave in sometimes. And we prayed!” She shook her head. “All that kept us together. It was tough, but it was worth it.” She paused. “Are you married, Sue?”
Sue shook her head. “No. I’m not sure I want to.”
“Forgive me if I’m prying, but do you have someone you care for?”
Lydia had such kind eyes. They pulled Sue in; she wanted to confide in this grandmother. “Yes. But I’m afraid. What if we have children, fall out of love, and hate each other?” Tears slid down her face. “I couldn’t bear that!”
Lydia put her hand on Sue’s arm. Her voice was soft and full of concern. “It doesn’t matter what we do, things can go south. But you can fight! If you love each other, you can work it out. They say those who pray together, stay together. That was so important. And talking together. When Ed and I got married, we went to premarital counseling. We learned about each other—simple things we never thought to talk about. Who made breakfast, who walked the dog, how many children did we want, was there an expectation that I would work or be a homemaker? All sorts of questions. Knowing all those things, plus a whole bunch more, helped us through those expectations that might be different for each of us. Don’t give him up if you love him. Fight for him! It means work, but it is worth it. Fifty years showed me that.”
Sue nodded. Lydia had given her a lot to think about. She put her head back and closed her eyes. Perhaps it would work to marry. She wanted to. While the movie flickered, Sue thought and prayed and argued. A baby cried and then she saw the mother carrying her child toward the restroom.
Something stirred in Sue’s heart. She wanted to fight, not just give up. If Lydia could make fifty years through thick and thin, she could, too. She glanced at the grandmother in the seat next to her. Lydia was dozing. Sue smiled and offered a prayer of thanks that God had sent this lady to sit next to her. She reached in her purse and pulled out the picture of Philip and herself that she carried everywhere. She had almost thrown it away when she left her sister, but then couldn’t do it. Philip was still a long ways away, but Sue knew he was waiting for her. She pulled out her cell phone and pushed in his number. His familiar voice said hello.
“Hello, my darling,” she answered his voice, hers trembling. “I’ll be home soon. I love you.”