Yet the trip didn't start off very well. You see, I have not been on a flight for twelve and a half years! My husband flys often and I tried to get him to give me the rundown so that I would be prepared but I think he left a few things out. Also, I was so focused on making sure things were taken care at home before I left that I didn't really focus on the flight.
I drove to the airport with my middle son. I clearly remember putting my carry on bag and my purse in the back seat and then taking out my wallet. I was going to stop at the bank and get some cash and the ATM is a drive through so I wanted to just have the wallet up front with me. Thinking that it was best just to get to the airport and not waste the time stopping to get money I just kept the wallet up front on the middle console.
Once at the airport I pulled into the drop-off area and jumped out got my purse and bag, hugged my son good-bye and off I went. My carry on bag was way heavier than I imagined it would be. How did a few clothes, a pair of boots, some toiletries and a few gifts feel like the weight of two bowling balls?
TSA check-in was a bit nerve-wracking to me. I had this fear of unknowingly doing something wrong and getting arrested or detained. I logically knew that wouldn't happen but the crazy side of my brain was feeling scared like a grade school kid afraid of getting in trouble for doing something that I didn't know I wasn't supposed to do and then having to go to detention at recess. I was very afraid of going to detention!
As I watched what other people were doing at the initial check-in I figured that I had better get my license out so that I could show it along with my boarding pass that I had downloaded to my phone. I started to dig through my purse only to discover that my entire wallet wasn't there. By the time I made it to the TSA guy I told him that I couldn't find my wallet. I figured that it was just all over for me. But he asked if I had anything else with my name on it. I dug around and pulled out my car rental print out. He asked if I had anything else. I then found my little green plastic envelop that held my medical insurance card. He was willing to accept that and had me stand over to the side.
As I was walking over to the side I knew I had to call my husband. Even if they let me on the plan I still would need my licence to rent a car. I started to break down when I told him of my dilemma. I felt so stupid showing up at this high-security check and not having my id. The tears were welling and my voice was cracking. He kept calm, said he would call our son to come back, and said that I could always get another flight.
Then I went to my airlines check in and the gentleman there was so kind, he calmed me down and he told me I could probably still make the flight. I then went to find a bathroom and then went out of the airport to find my son. All the time carrying a carry-on bag that felt like it had two bowling balls in it. By now it was so heavy I needed to carry it in my arms and not down by my side.
Emotionally I felt like a wreck inside. I got my wallet, made it through security and took off to find my plane. There were signs for C flights everywhere down the long hall. On my boarding pass, it had group "C" so I thought that was the gate I was supposed to be at. Nope. I called my husband again and asked him how was I supposed to know where to get on my plane. I was descending into a whole of feeling more and more stupid. I was a grown woman who didn't even know how to navigate a simple airplane flight!!! He said that after the TSA check in there was a board with all the fights. At that point, I was exhausted. I couldn't imagine going back all that way to possibly go this way again. Luckily I found a flight board near me and figured it out. Once I got to the boarding area the lady asked if I was Deanne Postma. And then when I got on the plane the stewardess asked me the same. I was so embarrassed and afraid that I had somehow held things up.
Well, I made it to my seat and there were about 10 minutes until take off. I was still beating myself up on the inside and then a small voice said, "You did it! You made it."
Lesson: Always bring your id to the airport!
Bigger Lesson: When it gets hard, and you are exhausted, ask for the help you need and keep going. You can make it!