Friday, April 11, 2008


The recent rash of cancellations of flights by American Airlines has me even more worried about her safety. She's not taking American, but still, she's climbing aboard an airplane today. I've been panicked about it for a week, a panic that has grown exponentially every day leading up to the full overload I now feel.

Had to drop her off at school at 5 am, which meant I was only able to snag 4 hours of sleep. That's probably all the sleep I'm going to get because now I'm overcome with worry, with sadness. I never let on to her that I was dealing with this inner emotional turmoil. I don't want her to worry about me and hold back on living her life. This is a trip she's been looking forward to since 8th grade, I wasn't about to ruin it for her with my paranoia.

I keep thinking about that flight, TWA Flight 800 from 1996. It left out of JFK in New York on it's way to Paris when it broke apart in the air, supposedly because the center fuel tank exploded. I remember just about every major U.S. plane crash that has occurred since I was 11 years old and American Airlines Flight 191 crashed near O'hare in 1979. I remember more details about Flight 800 than most others (except those on 9/11) because I was already a mother by then and when I heard that there was a group of students aboard, on a class trip, my heart broke. Here they were, headed off on an adventure of a life time, and they never made it. Instead they lost their lives. It hit me hard because I knew that at some point, my own child would be off on such a trip and the what-ifs started playing. They've played off and on for 12 years.

That time is now here. She's at the airport at this moment, probably going through security on her way to the gate, where she'll sit for another hour before her plane is scheduled to leave...and my stomach is in knots. The horror of the thoughts playing over and over in my head have me so anxious I'm physically shaking, I'm nauseous. I want to rush to the airport and get her, bring her back home safe with me. But is any place really safe?

I keep wondering, did I tell her I love her this morning? I know I hugged & kissed her good-bye, but did I say those words? I. Love. You. I can't remember if I did. I struggle to think back. It was only an hour & a half ago, why can't I remember??