28 May, 2014

Flying With Dr. Maya Angelou


I heard the sad news this morning that Dr. Maya Angelou had passed away; she never knew it, but she has been part of a family story that I have told many times over. I  pray for her family and loved ones this evening; she was a lovely and gracious woman.

Fifteen years ago our family was returning from living overseas to settle back into our life, once again, in the United States. We were tired; my husband and me, our son, Kyle, and our  mixed-breed, rough-around-the-edges terrier, Muffin. We had one last leg of our journey, a flight from Atlanta to Greensboro, NC before we would truly be "back home" again.  We boarded our flight and my husband and I settled into our seats while our son occupied one of the seats directly behind us, he secured Muffin's carrier under his seat.  Kyle had only just graduated from highschool. Let me go on record as his mother and say that I have always thought he was extremely bright and talented but he never thought that I gave him enough credit. You know how boys are at that age... they always want credit for everything that they claim to know and we, as parents, need to have that knowledge demonstrated before we blindly grant it. So, back to our flight. I was seated on the aisle and I noticed out of the corner of my eye the prettiest, most ornately carved cane pass beside me, being held by a woman. A moment later I heard her voice; it was so distinctive that I knew at once who it was, but I glanced back anyway to confirm my suspicions. Yes, it was Dr. Maya Angelou and she was sitting beside Kyle, directly behind me! A thousand things went through my mind right then, I knew there was no way that I could give him a "heads up" as to who his seat-mate was without embarrassing him (or her), I prayed that he would be polite and engage in at least some casual conversation. That's when I heard them talking and caught Dr. Angelou telling Kyle that Muffin was one of the most beautiful dogs she had ever seen! Now, I did love Muffin but I was also aware that she certainly wasn't all that beautiful, Dr. Angelou was being kind and generous. I will say, though, that what Muffin lacked in beauty she more than made up for in travel behavior; she was an excellent, quiet, traveler. Our flight was a short one and it seemed that all too quickly we were beginning our descent into Greensboro. After landing I stood to gather my bags and tried to make eye contact with Kyle but he was dodging my attempts, looking the other way and smiling. It was infuriating, I remember thinking "if he only knew who he'd been idly chatting with..." Suddenly we were off the plane and in the airport. I couldn't wait to tell him, I caught his arm, I was practically bursting and he stopped me cold. "Mom", he said, looking me straight in the eye: "I know why the caged bird sings!" He knew! He'd known all along!  From that day on... he got credit.

Life is Good!

16 comments:

Nancy, Near Philadelphia said...

Thank you for sharing this terrific story! Love it.

Karen Newman Fridy said...

What a wonderful memory and what an exciting chance encounter!

Karen Newman Fridy said...

What a wonderful memory and what an exciting chance encounter!

NanaNor's said...

What a wonderful story; I have to google her because at this precise minute I'm drawing a blank.
Hope you are having a wonderful week.
Hugs, Noreen

Nane said...

Oh I am so glad he knew all along. Teenage boys do know a little something I guess

Michele Bilyeu said...

Awesome and dear story. What a wonderful moment in time to treasure...as much of Kyle as Dr. Angelou! Loved it!

Janet O. said...

Wow, what a story! And what a son! Don't know that my sons would have been that aware.

AnnieO said...

A great tale of a terrific woman, and human being! Right on, Kyle:)

Edith said...

Yea, Kyle and Muffin!

Millie said...

I want to hear you tell that story in person when I see you in July. AWESOME!!!

phyzz said...

Love this story! Thanks so much for sharing it, endearing her AND Kyle, even more.

lindsey said...

Amazing story, thanks for sharing :)

Quiltdivajulie said...

Thank you . . .

Little Penpen said...

AWESOME story! She will be missed by many!

45th Parallel Quilter said...

I absolutely LOVED Maya Angelou and she will be missed by many, many people. What a great story to share with us ... thank you!

"Try to be a rainbow in someone's day" Maya Angelou

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