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BREAKFAST IN ATLANTA


March 26, 2017

BREAKFAST IN ATLANTA

HAVING JUST REMOVED MY SLEEP NECK SUPPORT, EYE MASK AND EAR BUDS, I WALKED OFF MY FIRST FLIGHT OF THE MORNING FOR A LAYOVER IN ATLANTA. I HADN’T HAD ANY COFFEE YET AND WAS SEEING DOUBLE.

I SET OFF LOOKING FOR AN ACTUAL, SIT-DOWN RESTAURANT SO I COULD SPEND A FEW MINUTES REMEMBERING HOW TO BE HUMAN AGAIN. PLUS, I’VE BEEN PLEASANTLY SURPRISED TO FIND SOME GOOD FOOD AND RESPECTABLE COFFEE IN THIS AIRPORT.

COFFEE IS WHAT BRINGS ME TO THIS ENTRY.

“GOOD MORNING, WHAT CAN I GET FOR YOU?” ASKED THE OBVIOUSLY CAFFEINATED AND SPIRITED SERVER.

OUT OF MY MOUTH SPUTTERED, “I WSDFDF LIAHKLJHJ A AJKLJFH.”

SHE RESPONDED, “OH, A LATTE? I’M REALLY, REALLY GOOD AT THOSE!”

I LIKED HER RIGHT AWAY BECAUSE SHE WAS FLUENT IN JIBBERSIH WITH A SIDE OF BIG SMILE AND GREAT ATTITUDE.

THE SAID-LATTE WAS EXCELLENT (SHE WAS PRETTY PROUD OF THAT TASTY LATTE AND ADMITTED TO A FEW THIS MORNING HERSELF.) WE HAD A LONG CONVERSATION REGARDING THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CAPPUCCINOS AND LATTES. SHE HAD DIFFICULTY GETTING THE FROTH TO SIT ATOP THE LATTE INITIALLY BUT HER BOSS GAVE HER A LESSON. SHE HAD DEFINITELY MASTERED THE CLOUD ON COFFEE TECHNIQUE.

NOW, IF YOU KNOW ME YOU KNOW I’LL TALK TO A TABLE IF I THINK IT MIGHT TALK BACK SO WE TALKED A LOT MORE (I MEAN THE SERVER NOT THE TABLE.) SHE WAS A FASTER TALKER THAN ME AND WE PACKED IN A LOT.
I TOLD HER I IMAGINED SHE, SOMEHOW, HAD REGULARS AT THE AIRPORT SINCE SHE WAS SO PERSONABLE. SHE SMILED AND SAID, ACTUALLY, SHE DID WHICH ALWAYS SURPRISED HER BOSS.
SHE TOLD ME HOW MUCH SHE LOVED HER JOB, HOW SHE HAD BEEN A PEDIATRIC NURSE BUT WASN’T PREPARED FOR THE TOUGH TIMES IN NURSING, THAT NURSING SCHOOL HADN’T PREPARED HER FOR TRAGEDY, AND HOW TO NURTURE AND CARE FOR OTHERS AND HAVE SOMETHING LEFT FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR OWN FAMILY. SO SHE BECAME AN OBSTETRICS NURSE AND FOUND IT TO BE EVEN MORE DEVASTATING. WHEN THINGS WENT WELL IT WAS THE BEST BUT WHEN THINGS DIDN’T-SHE JUST COULDN’T TAKE IT. THEN SHE WORKED AS A SURGICAL NURSE BUT COULDN’T DEAL WITH HOW THE SURGEONS MADE JOKES, PIPED IN LOUD MOZART, AND GENERALLY SEPARATED THEMSELVES FROM THE PEOPLE (LITERALLY) AT HAND. SHE UNDERSTOOD THE WHYS OF THIS BUT IT WASN’T FOR HER (ESPECIALLY THE MOZART PART;)
SO SHE STARTED TO WAITRESS WHEN HER DAUGHTER STARTED COLLEGE PURSUING A PHYSICAL THERAPY IN SPORTS MEDICINE DEGREE. SHE WANTED TO MAKE SURE MONEY WOULD BE COMING IN REGULARLY FOR HER DAUGHTER’S EXPENSES. (MOM IS HOPEFUL HER DAUGHTER WILL GET CONNECTED TO A GREAT TEAM AND MOM CAN TRAVEL THE COUNTRY WITH HER;)

AS FOR HER NURSING DEGREES, SHE KEEPS THEM FRAMED AS “SERIOUSLY EXPENSIVE PIECES OF ART” ON HER WALL AND DOESN’T REGRET A THING.

AS I SIPPED MY AWESOME LATTE WHILE SHE SPOKE I STARTED TO TEAR UP. I DIDN’T EXACTLY FEEL SORRY FOR HER BUT I DID FEEL FOR HER. SHE SEEMED LIKE SOMEBODY WHO HAD BEEN THROUGH A LOT AND HAD COME OUT WITH HER HEAD HELD HIGH AND A SMILE ON HER FACE. SHE TOLD ME SHE LEARNED A LOT FROM NURSING AND, AS HER CUSTOMER, I FELT EVERY OUNCE OF HER NURSE’S NURTURE POUR FORTH IN THE FORM OF FROTH AND KINDNESS.

SHE’S ABOUT TO MOVE TO CALIFORNIA TO CARE FOR HER BROTHER’S TWO SONS (8 AND 10). HE’S HAD SOLE CUSTODY SINCE THEY WERE 18 MONTHS OLD AND HAS BEEN AN ‘AMAZING’ FATHER BUT NEEDS MORE SUPPORT NOW. SHE’S THRILLED TO GO AND BE PART OF THEIR LIVES. SHE RECALLED HOW TERRIFIED HER BROTHER WAS WHEN HE WAS AWARDED CUSTODY. WE LAUGHED AND SAID WHAT A GOOD SIGN THAT WAS. SHE STARTED TO TEAR UP WITH PRIDE FOR HER BROTHER AND WELL, MY INCESSANT ON AND OFF TEARING UP WAS FLARING INTO SOME DROPS ROLLING DOWN THE CHEEKS.

YOU SEE, I WAS RETURNING FROM A TOTAL NURTURE IN GREENSBORO WITH MY DEAREST FRIENDS/NC FAMILY, MY EXCEPTIONAL UNCG HOST, AND MY FLUTE FAMILY. I COULD RELATE TO THAT SLIGHTLY TERRIFIED FEELING WHEN YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR DOING A GOOD JOB WHEN YOU’RE TIRED AND UNFOCUSED AND UNSURE. I WAS TOUCHED BY THE SWEETNESS OF THIS SPECIAL LATTE-MAKING SOUL WHO WAS THERE TO LIFT UP HER DAUGHTER, BROTHER, AND THOSE LUCKY KIDS (AND ME.) I WAS FEELING GRATEFUL FOR THE KINDNESS OF OLD DEAREST FRIENDS, NEW DEAREST FRIENDS AND THE KINDNESS OF ABSOLUTE STRANGERS. (BY THE WAY, SHE HADN’T ASKED ONE WORD ABOUT ME, WHICH WAS GREAT-WHO CARES IF I PLAY THE FLUTE?) SHE GAVE ME A HUG AND SAID SHE WAS SURE I WAS A GREAT MAMA. HOW DID SHE KNOW I WAS A MAMA? I ASKED HER THROUGH MY NOW EMBARRASSING WATERWORKS. “A MAMA KNOWS ANOTHER MAMA”, SHE SAID.

AS I WAS LEAVING THE RESTAURANT IN MY CLOUD OF UTOPIA, FATIGUE, AND GRATEFULNESS A BUSINESSMAN CRASHED INTO ME WHILE TEXTING. NO ACKNOWLEDGEMENT, NO APOLOGY, NO NOTHING. I WAS ABOUT TO BOIL OVER BUT THEN I REMEMBERED HE, TOO, HAS A STORY-JUST LIKE ME-JUST LIKE MY SERVER AND JUST LIKE YOU. I MADE A CHOICE TO BE KIND AND SAID EXCUSE ME AS NICELY AS I COULD WHILE CARRYING A BIT OF A CHIP ON MY SHOULDER IN ADDITION TO MY CARRY ON ITEMS. HE LOOKED UP, STARTLED, SMILED AND SAID, “OH, THAT’S OK-NO WORRIES. HOPE YOU HAVE A GREAT DAY.”

JUST PASSING IT ON.
HOPE YOU HAVE A GREAT DAY, TOO.





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