On Sunday, we got up early and drove up to the Oakland airport in order to get him a non-stop flight home and to get him home early to try to avoid the rush. As I expected, the lines were quite long, but moved along at a decent pace. I think I only heard K grumble once, but then I reminded him "what better do we have to do here but wait?". Once we finally got to his gate, we sat down and tried to wake up. After a short time, an elderly woman with white curls sat down next to us. She asked me if I could see the numbers on top of the new Southwest poles, and then proceeded to explain twice about the new boarding procedure. I already felt my patience waning and was trying to figure out a polite way to discontinue the conversation. Then, I happened to glance over at her boarding pass and saw her first name was "Frances", which was my grandmother's first name. Suddenly, I imagined my grandmother sitting next to someone in an airport and I thought to myself, "if this woman was my grandma, I'd want the person sitting next to her to be nice to her". My heart softened a bit as grandma seemed to be reminding me about the patience and kindness that was so much a part of the way she treated those around her. We talked a bit longer and she mentioned that she was also from Spokane and anxious to get back home. She asked K a few questions, which he answered very politely. K even asked her a few questions and told her about the upcoming cold front, especially where he lived in the mountains. As we sat there talking, and I listened to her repeat herself , I smiled and remembered some of the last conversations I had with my own grandmother.
When she got up to stand in line, K and I looked at each other and we both commented on her name, which surprisingly, K had noticed also. When I told him that I miss grandma, K said what had already been on my mind - "the holidays are not the same this year without grandma".