From 38,000 Feet | An Essay on Weddings, Deathbeds, Moving Cross Country, and The Half-Blood Prince


I heard (a non-verified fact) this week, you can easily get more emotional on planes because of the altitude. Even without the altitude this past month, I’ve found myself with eyes brimming unexpectedly every few days. This post, I’ve got tears in my eyes and a smile on my face.

Three weeks ago we moved out of our Lubbock home in hotter than hell Texas weather, our friends and family helping us with every load. Our Sunburn game was strong. We ate at our favorite Indian food restaurant and drank mango lassi to reward ourselves for cramming all of our worldly belongings into a suburban headed toward New York. 

Two weeks ago we traipsed through the Netherlands and cheered on my sister as she got married in, record-breaking, hotter than hell heat waves. I lost count of how many cappuccinos I ordered and how many sheep fields we saw. I sang “Bye Bye Lil’ Sebastian” to a mini horse and snapped a picture of every flower and Dutch home.

One week ago, we photographed a wedding for some of our friends. The wedding party and guest list were filled with our closest friends, and, with tears in our eyes and words choked up in our throats, we hugged them all goodbye for the last time. Brett mentioned to me the irony of the day as “The first look” and celebratory marriage beginnings were unfolding, while our "last looks” and season in Texas was ending. Drew Baylor’s “last looks” monologue at the beginning of Elizabethtown was playing through my head that day. One of the greatest cinematic monologues in my opinion.

There’s something really beautiful about dancing with your friends right before you leave them. 

This morning my grandma, a woman whose mannerisms epically mimicked that of Doris Day’s, has found her way to her deathbed (something we are all grateful and celebrating as she’s been tired of her body and this earth for awhile now), and this afternoon we’ve boarded our plane to New York. I get anxiety when flying, so my stomach is in knots and I’m totally going to watch a movie (Shazam) to help me think less and less about my flight. There’s a deep set gratitude in me to finally be on this long-awaited flight. 

My thoughts based on my circumstances and the season I find myself leaving and beginning:

On death: We’ve been listening to Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince this week and have finally come to the chapter where Dumbledore dies. There's a sense of connectedness in me feeling the death of Dumbledore, the death of our time in Texas, and the death of my grandma. They aren't all the same, but they all have me feeling something strong and real. Something beautiful and endings leading to new beginnings. 

On impulse purchases: Everytime I’m at the airport, I want to buy something from the Benefit Makeup vending machines. Does this ever happen to you? 

On what I wore to the airport: I’m loving the jean dress I’m wearing today. We just picked it up at Denton Thrift the other day. It’s long enough to make me believe I won’t freeze on the plane. 

On moving to a new city: Between the two of us, we have 8 bags. Four huge ones checked, four going on the plane with us. It feels like too much and not enough all at once.

On grief and racism: This week I’m still hurting for the people in El Paso. Hurting for not only their loss, but what was communicated to them about their worth and significance in our country because of their culture and the color of their skin. I hope one day they can feel safe, invited in, well-cared for and loved. I hope against hate.

On other passengers: The Islamic couple to my left ate pretzels for lunch and now they are praying together. The man in front of me has a dog laying sleepily in his lap. The college guys next to my right are working on the crossword puzzle from the in-flight magazine. 

On being a teammate: This morning I woke up, moved to hug Brett and give him a face full of kisses. I moved my head away from his (because who needs to breathe in my dragon breathe first thing in the morning?) to tell him, “Today we move to New York!” How long we’ve waited for this day. There’s no one I’d rather share a 416 square foot apartment with.