Okay. This is funny.
About 7 years ago, when Jess was 20 and I was 44, she got stuck in an airport in Atlanta because the land was being covered in snow. Huge amounts of snow. All flights were delayed, and she was stranded two days before Christmas, all alone with thousands of other people. I was helpless and hairless, in the middle of chemo treatments, 1500 kilometres away.
“Mom, this lady and man offered to share a ride to a nearby hotel!” Jess was relieved. ARRRRRREEEEE YOU CRAAAAAAAAAAZY?!?! If I’d had any hair, it would have all been standing on end by now!! “Mom, they’re super nice, and it’s a taxi ride.” Truthfully, the little 20 year-old girl-woman was scared poopless at the blizzardy situation in which she found herself. My mind frantically searched for solutions, words of wisdom to offer, a Bible verse that would comfort…..”Does he have a moustache? Did she look you in the eyes? Is either of them carrying a briefcase?!”
PEOPLE!!! I’ve noticed in the movies bad guys carry a briefcase a lot of the times. Well at least some of the times. Okay – once. But still. Besides, this is the U. S. of A. where people carry guns in their back pockets and front pockets and probably in their briefcases!
It doesn’t matter how old your kids are, we all hate when they’re in trouble and we can’t fix the mess! But this was one time when Jess was mostly gonna’ have to handle it all alone. I started to pray. And eat. Actually, there was nothing to eat, at least nothing that didn’t require an hour of cooking. So, I started unwrapping the boxes of chocolate treats in each of the kid’s stockings.
Matt’s Ferrero Rocher‘s were presently helping me forget about the snowstorm in Atlanta and the bad man and lady with the suspicious briefcase. I sat on the floor in the dark living room lit by the lights of the Christmas tree and a roaring fire, eating the top layer of Ferrero gold, bald and bawling. Like seriously, Michael Buble had to start taunting me with I’ll be home for Christmas at precisely this moment. I groped through the stockings and found a box of Turtles…those were mine anyway! Good kids, they had paid attention to my Christmas wish list. Hopefully that meant there were a pair of Uggs somewhere under that tree too.
The phone rang again and I almost swallowed a whole Turtle trying to find the ring under the wrapping paper somewhereeeeeee …. I grabbed it on the last ring, “Hmmmph,” I was choking on Turtles. “Mom?!” Jess thought she had the wrong number. “No, it’s me, just had my mouth full of leftover broccoli casserole, what’s going on?!” I didn’t want her to feel bad that I was eating chocolate while she was alone in Atlanta in the middle of a snowstorm being stalked by a bad man and woman with a briefcase.
“Do you know who Justin Beaver is?” Jess asked. “Justin Beaver? No…Is it the man with the moustache and briefcase?” That sounded like an alias to me. “Jess, you need to stay away from this Beaver guy!” I groped behind me for the box of Turtles! “No Mom! I’m sitting here waiting and there’s a lady beside me and she’s furious that she has to wait, and she keeps saying, “Do they know my son is Justin Beaver?!” and she told me her son’s Justin Beaver, and I said “That’s nice,” but I have no idea who that is!” Jess took a quick breath, and I jumped in! “Yah, me neither, tell her your brother is Matthew Channon, and you still have to wait in line, duh!” I started on the second layer of Turtles.
Iloweredmyvoicetoawhisper, “Where’s the man and lady with the suspicious briefcase? I’m not on loudspeaker, am I?!” Jess laughed. “They actually used their priority whatever to get me on the next flight with them! They told the airline people I was alone and scared, and I’m on the last flight out of here tonight! I knew your prayers would fix everything!” GULP.
As jess flew through the snowy skies of Atlanta, I curled up with the rest of my Turtles, listening to Christmas music in the glow of the lights and actually for the first time that evening said a prayer full of thanksgiving and relief. On the heels of Amen, I had a thought, I wonder who this Justin Beaver dude is? I should Google it. My friend, Bonnie, had recently told me about Google and how you could magically find out anything you needed to know! Apparently, the rest of the world had found out about this magician Google thing 10 years ago! Just this past week, I had googled How to make your Christmas tree last longer, (sugar water) Why does my coffee taste like metal? (chemo, apparently) and Why do my farts smell so bad? (too much “food” like Turtles).
I punched in the words Who is Justin Beaver? APPARENTLY THE MOST FAMOUS PERSON IN THE WORLD!!!! Make no wonder his mother was pissed that she had to wait! I couldn’t stop grinning! Not cause Jess had met Justin Beaver’s mom, but cause Jess didn’t scream when she heard who the lady’s son was but just said, “that’s nice.”
That’s nice. Cause Jess did know about Rosa Parks. That’s the seamstress lady who busted the norms and started a civil rights movement.
That’s nice. Cause Jess had no idea who Justin Beaver was, but she did know about Martin Luther King’s dream that one day all men would be considered equal.
That’s nice. Cause Jess knew all about the courage of a young woman named Helen Keller and a warrior named Amelia Earhart whose bravery gave wings to millions of girls.
That’s nice. But she could tell you about Mother Teresa and Joan of Arc and Gandhi. She knew the story of a girl named Anne Frank and the flight of the warrior Laura Secord.
That’s nice. Cause Jess knew true heroes like her great-grandfather who had fought in two wars and her Uncle Pat who was a policeman and her Dad who went to work every day so that she would never have to worry about food and shelter and important stuff like that.
By the time I stopped smiling, there were barely any Turtles left and I was feeling pretty sick. I re-wrapped the Turtles, switched Matt’s empty top layer of FR’s to the bottom, quickly re-wrapped it and stuffed both boxes back into the stockings. It was 3am and Jess was on her way home for Christmas thanks to the bad man and lady with the suspicious briefcase. I took one last look at the tree and all the lights before I pulled the plug for the night.
Hmmmm, I thought.