65: Flying Without a License

65: Flying Without a License

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles and More

Flying Without a License

Miracles happen to those who believe. If you believe in something with all your heart and mind, you bring it to life.

~Leon Brown

“I’m sorry,” the attendant said. “I can’t let you board this flight as your ID has expired.”

I was stunned. Shocked. My good friend and I had driven two hours into Edmonton the night before and had been at the airport since 5:00 a.m., organized and ready for this 7:00 a.m. flight.

Also, it meant I had been driving without a license. That was another issue. But right then I just needed to get on this flight to Toronto.

The agent understood our dilemma but, sticking to policy, she handed us two boarding passes and smiled. “There is a flight at 10:00. You need to get another official photo ID. Good luck.”

That didn’t allow me enough time to go home to Barrhead and come back. While my friend and the flight agent looked over some other ID I had, I phoned my neighbour and friend who lived in the next apartment and had my key. Would she answer at this early hour, and would she answer a cell number she did not recognize?

She did.

“Rita, I need your help. Can you please go to my apartment and get my passport?” I told her where it was, and she found it.

She replied, “I have it, but I’m sorry I can’t bring it to you. I have to go to work.”

I said, “Can you please phone my friends, Brad and Joan?” I gave her their home number and hung up.

When I called Rita back, she said she had reached Brad and he was on his way with my passport. She gave me his cell number.

The event in Toronto that night was the launch party for Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Spirit of Canada, in which I had two stories. I was invited to attend, sign books, and be part of the celebration party. I had quietly planned to attend about a month prior, but since then several friends had decided to join me. Three loyal, long-time friends and my niece from Manitoba had changed their plans to celebrate with me, and two other special people I had met in Cape Breton (the experience was recounted in one of my stories) drove 2,227 miles from Florida to be there to see me again. I had to make it.

As my friends were in Toronto getting ready to go to the venue, my friend and I were still three provinces away, racing from the airport by taxi to our vehicle to meet Brad on the highway. When there was an accident that caused a big traffic jam, we thought all was lost. But we got the passport, and hurried back, getting to the gate with only minutes to spare. I texted my friends, “I missed my flight.” One of them replied, “Joking I hope.” But it was no joke.

We boarded the 10:00 a.m. flight still not sure how it would all play out. As I sank into my window seat, I finally relaxed, and my tears blurred the view of the beautiful green square fields and glorious puffy clouds.

Two great friends in Toronto met us at the airport, and after some brief difficulties, the four of us arrived at the book launch party. After a brief connection with my waiting guests, I guided the others to join them, ran with my suitcase to the washroom, and changed into my red-and-white Canadian outfit. When I came back, they said I looked good. Maybe I should dress all the time from a suitcase in a small washroom in one minute!

Immediately, I started signing books with the other authors. Although some moaned about sore wrists and fingers after a couple of hundred books, I’m sure I could have signed a thousand.

When Janet Matthews, in her heartwarming manner, relayed the true importance of story, and when Chris Robertson, with his national enthusiasm, joined our Canadian spirits, I knew there was no better place for me that night. When Rob Harshman read his story from the chapter, “Honouring Those Who Served,” and when Lesley Marcovich from South Africa read what “O Canada” meant to her, I knew there was a reason things had worked out with my flight. And as I listened to “Sid, Please Sign My Jersey,” I looked around at every smiling face in that room and knew a miracle had put me there.

~Glenice Wilson

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