We never really know what anyone’s story is, and this piece, which was inspired by the readers at AmoMama, proves exactly that. Judging someone because of their clothing or what they look like is not only petty and small-minded behavior but just plain rude. If you took the time to get to know people first, perhaps our judgments would not be as harsh.
The woman on the plane
A wealthy businessman named Jared boarded the plane. “I don’t want to sit next to that… woman!” Jared almost yelled at the flight attendant who had accompanied an older woman and told him she was seated next to him. The woman who was named Mildred definitely did not look like she could afford that seat. Her clothes were old and her hair was ratty.
The flight attendant told him that there was nothing she could do, the woman had purchased that ticket and had every right to be there. Jared seemed to be more upset, and the woman looked up at them and told the flight attendant she would happily take an empty seat in economy class. She did not want to be in any trouble or cause anyone issues.
The flight attendant refused, assuring the woman that she deserved to be seated in the seat she purchased. She asked Jared if he would prefer to be escorted out by airport security. He quickly shut up and sat down when he realized how much attention he was drawing to himself.
The man sat down and ignored Mildred. She was old and frail and not a pretty sight. The Captain announced that they would soon be taking off. Once airborne, and since Mildred had never been on an airplane in her whole 85 years of life, she was afraid. A tiny bit of turbulence caused her to drop her handbag, and everything inside dropped on the floor.
Jared, despite their earlier altercation, promptly got off his seat to help the old woman collect the contents of her handbag. He noticed a big ruby pendant. “WOW,” he exclaimed as he picked the pendent up to examine it. He asked Mildred if she knew what it was. It turns out that Jared was an antique jewelry expert! Mildred was in possession of a really valuable ruby.
Jared asked Mildred how she came about owning it, and she told him that her father had given it to her mother when they met. Inside the locket were two pictures. On one side was a picture of Mildred’s mother and father, the other, her son
Jared asked if Mildred was on her way to see her son. She told Jared that no, she had been made to give him up for adoption because her husband and family were so poor. She had been a mother to him for his first 6 months of life, but soon it was clear that she could not provide him any life worth living.
Mildred continued her story and told Jared that even though she had sent him a letter, years later, he replied with anger. He was not in any way interested in meeting her. She wished he could understand and forgive her. But he was not willing.
Mildred then went on to tell Jared the most astonishing part of all. Her son was born on that very day, 40 years ago. He was the pilot on their flight. Mildred wanted to spend his birthday with him, taking that flight was the closest she knew she would ever get to him. She wanted some peace of mind before she passed on. Jared wiped away his tears and pulled out his briefcase.