While traveling home on a Southwest Airlines flight on August 18, Tricia Belstra experienced kindness from strangers that most people can only dream of.
“I was not looking or feeling good,” she writes on Facebook. “I sat in my seat between two strangers holding a barf bag down low between my legs. One of the flight attendants looked at me and asked if I was okay. I asked for some water and another person brought it to me.”
Another young man came by, and Tricia wishes she would have gotten his name as he took drink requests. She ordered a diet coke and another glass of water before the young man leaned in and asked if Tricia was okay.
“I told him I was flying back to bury my son.”
He apologized for her loss, then handed her the drinks. Then the passenger next to Tricia offered to pour the water for her as her hands were shaking.
When the plane landed, that same woman helped Tricia remove her luggage from the overhead compartments.
“As I am leaving the plane the young man who waited on me was standing on the landing and as I walked off the plane he stopped me and handed me a napkin and said he was sorry for my loss and this wasn’t much. I said thank you and walked out.”
It wasn’t until she got out of the walkway and into the terminal that Tricia was able to look at just what he had handed her.
On the napkin was a handwritten note:
“In 2004, my family lost my older brother. As traumatic as it still is for me, I can’t even pretend to truly know the pain you feel as a mother.
I did however, watch my mother’s grieving process (a process that will never end).
Firstly, being a mother is about giving birth to new life as a promise to the future. Your mission doesn’t end now—your son’s life’s bigger than his death, and always will be.
My mom struggled desperately chasing a far away goal of somehow lessening the pain. As she has realized now, the pain hardly lessens. Don’t expend your energy trying to chase this. Instead, go all out finding opportunities to experience joy. Visit family, get closer to those you’ve lost touch with, travel. This is your story and you owe it to yourself and your son to make sure you survive this.
Do NOT pressure yourself!
This world is full of people who DO truly care about you, even if it doesn’t feel that way.
I won’t stop thinking about you anytime soon, or how you’re doing or what you’re up to. You’ll come out of this a stronger person, and I’ll be rooting for you the whole time.”
Tricia says she immediately cried when she looked down at the napkin. She hopes her deepest thanks will get back to the young man who wrote this, as she believes he was used by God to deliver this message.
It just goes to show that there truly ARE great people in this world. And God uses them to bless others.
Share this and help us get Tricia’s heartfelt message back to the young man who gave her the napkin!