Thursday, November 5, 2009

People Watching

On a morning a few weeks ago, passing through the Burlington International Airport on my way west, I noticed a family -- He, She, and Little Boy -- sitting on a bench together outside the security line. Little Boy had the same short haircut as Him, and She was wearing an ARMY sweatshirt, so my assumption was that He was being deployed somewhere.

None of them were looking at or talking to each other. All three were just blankly staring at the security line, as if that held some interest.

I thought it strange that they weren't getting in final hugs or goodbyes. They were just sitting there looking completely lost and hollow.

I was halfway through security, when they stood up and walked Him to the line. I wondered if "This might be the last time we see Him" was going through their minds. I turned to watch Little Boy and Her walk away from Him, still distant from each other and not talking. I think they had no idea what to say to each other. Little Boy's eyes were brimming and red, and he was clearly trying very hard to hold it all in. I had to turn away, for my eyes started to brim at the sight of such sadness.

Granted, they're just one of thousands of families torn apart by war politics. But I sure hope that guy comes home alive someday so they can hug, kiss, and cry some happiness.

(245 words)


  1. Oh, how sad. It's especially sad for kids. My kids don't even understand why I have to go to book club once a month!

  2. Your story was sad, but still strong, moving and thought-provoking. I liked this post.