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SALT LAKE CITY — Flying on an airplane can be a nerve-racking experience, and the reasons we fly are not always pleasant ones.
The KSL.com "Make Your Week" column features uplifting stories sent in from people outside the newsroom. This edition shares the stories of two people who received unexpected kindness from strangers at the airport. The writers both describe these encounters as moments they will never forget.
"On March 15, 2019, I was flying from Las Vegas back to SLC after helping a friend move. I had flown once before, but for some reason, I couldn't calm myself down before this flight. As I took my seat, I asked the guy next to me if he was much of a talker, to which he replied with a firm 'no.'
"A few minutes passed, and I think he could tell by my aggressive texting about how we were for sure going down to my husband that I needed a distraction. He talked and asked me questions the entire 80-minute flight. We had a lot (of) laughs, he held my hand during turbulence and even reassured me that the noise I heard was just a toilet flush. He asked about my family, my tattoos, my upbringing, and we even snuck in politics while finding out his middle name was my son's first name! We talked about why he visited Vegas (for work), his four kids and wife, and his service for our country.
"We landed, parted ways after a quick farewell, and I never saw him again (and maybe never will). He showed me people can be kind, helpful and willing to step out of comfort zones to make sure someone else is OK. So, Christian from Logan, I just wanted to say thank you for giving me a MUCH needed distraction on what was probably the easiest flight that I made an internal disaster. I think of our interaction often, and it always brings a smile to my face!"
"I was on my (way) to Jamaica from Salt Lake City the second time in a couple weeks to attend my brother's funeral, who was murdered. I had just returned a few weeks ago from a close family (friend's funeral), who passed away from cancer. She was only 29; my brother is only 23.
"... As I hand the lady at the entrance to come through security my passport, she looked at my ticket and say, 'Going to Jamaica? Wow! Have fun.' I respond, 'I wish.' She then asked, 'What (is) going on?' I told her about my brother who was murdered and (that I) was going to his funeral. She then asked, 'Can I give you a hug?' She hugged me with all the love you can imagine. I sobbed on her shoulder for a bit. I then remembered I have a flight to catch and she was at work, (but) for that few minutes none of that matters. I whisper in her ears, 'Thank you.' And she responded, 'May God comfort you.' Those words and that hug is what held me through the funeral.
"Thank you, stranger, you don't know what your act of kindness did. I will forever be grateful. I wish I could find that lady and hug her again and tell her how much I thank her and what that (hug) and her words of encouragement did for me."
To share the stories that have made your day better, email them, preferably in 100 words or less, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Photos and videos are encouraged. Stories may be edited for clarity.