Today a lady came to my checkpoint that reminded me of something…
I was asked to come up by the x-ray machine because a passenger wanted to have something hand checked; it was a bag of medication. The woman seemed to have a slight hesitation when handed me the bag and her eyes remained fixed on it as if her life depended on it. Reading that signal, I made sure I stayed within her view; something told me this was more than an everyday bag of medication. She had to go through the body scanner which meant her back was to me for a few seconds. Immediately she turned around to see where I was standing. I met her at the exit and told her I would wait until she gathered her belongings.
Once she had everything I explained the simple test I needed to do on the bottles of medication. I noticed when I said the word "test" her eye began to tear up. I assured her test was safe and would take less than 30 seconds. She said, "I am sorry I have been down at Mayo Clinic because I have a brain tumor. I am going home to Bismarck today." as the tears began to roll down her cheek. I stopped what I was doing and walked around the table where she was standing. I did something I wasn’t sure I should do in my position (I didn’t care) I put my arm around her shoulders and squeezed her tight. She looked at me and I said, “Never apologize for what you are going through.” I asked her her name. She said, “Terry.” “Terry,” I said, “I will keep you in my prayers. I know you are in great hands at Mayo. My friend Tammy was there with a brain tumor.” I went back to testing the outside of the containers when Terry asked how Tammy was doing. I explained Tammy passed away many years ago, but the medicine and technology was not as advanced as today. “Make the choice to enjoy life every day.” I told her. At that point her husband came up to us. He asked if everything was ok. Terry looked at him and said, “Yes. This officer,” “What is your name,” she asked. “Kelly,” I said. “This officer was just checking my medication and telling me about her friend who was a Mayo.”
My testing was complete. I smiled as I handed back the bag to Terry. “You are good to go. Have a safe flight home.” “I will,” she said, “I appreciate you being so kind and sharing your prayers with me.”
Sometimes I wish people around me would notice that I do things like this or that maybe a passenger would take a moment to fill out a comment card. However, when I think about it, I don’t treat people like I do for recognition, I do it because it is the right thing to do. I do it because I want to make a small difference in people’s lives.