Westchester 54

someone will help my mom. I can only hope and pray for my mother to come ‘face to face’ with kindness. I think of all the times I gave up a window seat for an elderly person, or a pregnant woman, or a wife who wanted to sit next to her husband. I am hopeful. She is picked up at the designated time – standing outside her condo with her suitcase and an overnight bag, hav- ing packed enough clothing for an en- tire month. “Maybe I’ll stay for a few extra weeks,” she tells me the night be- fore when she lists all the clothing she’s bringing. I can hear in her voice something I never heard before: loneliness. She gets to the JetBlue terminal, she checks her suitcase outside with baggage claim, and – I am told by the neighbor/car service driver – she hands a crisp ten dollar bill to the lovely bag handler, telling him he is a lovely, love- ly, kind man. He deeply appreciates her gesture. Little does he know that the remaining ten or so crisp ten and twenty dollar bills that she has tucked ever so neatly in her wallet will make their way to others who smile, offer a hand, let her get ahead in line, help her with her carry-on. She makes her way up to the counter, where a ticket should be waiting for her. Yes, there is a ticket, but she must go to the gate, in order to get a window seat. She goes through the whole secu- rity scene – I am told by the neighbor/ car service guy – the taking off of her shoes, the removing of her belt, the telling a joke or two about her hip re- placement after she in fact set off the security alarm and how the sound re- minded her of the old days in Las Vegas when someone won at the slots. It was a sound filled with ‘good wishes.’ “No more,” she says loudly as if tell- ing it to every single person on the se- curity line. “It’s a phony sound, it has


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