As M mentioned, I have been in Atlanta for the past few days, attending a CDC conference. And, as most of you know, my mom is from a small town in Georgia, about 70 miles north of Atlanta.
Today, as I was passing through security in the airport on my way home, I was sandwiched between two very vivid reminders of my mom. In front of me stood an Army cornel dressed in dessert camo. Behind me was a woman with a lovely southern twang. When I overheard this woman say she was "tickled" every time someone looks at her drivers license photo, I was hit with an overwhelming desire to hear from my mom. "Tickled pink" is something my mom likes to say.
And so, before I knew it, I was asking the army cornel if he was, by chance, on his way to Afghanistan. He looked at me kindly and said, no, he hoped not to go there again. I said, "Well, my mamma is there, so I had to ask, just in case you might see her there." Of course I said all this with an appropriate southern twang.
This brief exchange - the southern phrase that my mom loves to say, the humble, human interaction with a soldier - lasted all of 1 minute. But it left me heartened while walking through the Atlanta airport. Because for some reason, I felt like my mom knew I was reaching out for her.
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