After being on a flight that was packed full, when I changed planes and had a chance to have a row of seats all to myself I went to the far back of the plane and set myself up for a relaxing flight.
Following the lead of the friendly, but territorial guy in front of me, I sat in the aisle seat making it clear I did not want to share.
When the flight attendants were making their way down through the plane double checking the bins overhead- a sign that we were set- I slid over to the window seat to prepare for the nap I had been waiting for and desperately needed after sleeping maybe two and a half hours the night before.
I was getting my pillow out of my bag when I looked up, surprised to see a thirty some year old woman sitting at the end of my row.
I shook my head and sarcastically yelled, "REALLY?!" from inside my head.
She took no notice. Did she not see that there were other completely empty rows she could of and should of chose from?!
By then the announcement to turn off all electronic devices was made.
She ignored it. Did she not understand English?
But when the attendant came by and told her to specifically turn it off, she nodded yet still ignored her.
The fact that she sat in my row, was oblivious to my "evil eyes" and frustrated body language, along with the fact that she was putting all of our lives in emanate danger, was just too much.
I would get the attention of the attendant as soon as possible and do the elementary school protocol and "tell on her".
That was until I noticed the outgoing, funny lady across the aisle from us giving the sneaks- look to my criminal row-mate as she still had her phone on too. She was the kind of woman who had the, "Honey, you don't wanna mess with me " look so I scrapped that idea.
As soon as we started to taxi on the runway, the convict made a comment to me and then asked a question about some other planes that were visible from my nap-to-be-window.
I commented back and we started a conversation that would last the duration of our flight.
Criminals are over rated sometimes. This lady was very nice, and obliviously innocent to so many things and had a great interest in my family and me.
She was also very kind, educated and thoughtful.
Surprisingly she too had struggles in her life and had some of the same parenting concerns I had.
She shared that she was from another country and her story of coming to America.
A few minutes into our budding friendship I had become conscientiously aware of my heart slowly softening towards her and my demeanor changing. She was no longer this irritant and person worthy of hating but a vulnerable woman just like me.
The moment I felt the most guilt for my unkind feelings and thoughts (that she was totally clueless about and that I was now thankful for her oblivion) was when she excitedly said, "You are rich!"
"In my country of Vietnam if you have four boys you are considered rich."
"It's true" she said, "The families with four boys or five girls are always rich!"
Her enthusiasm was contagious and convincing. I believed her!
I was so grateful I had openly invited her into my life-otherwise how would I have ever known the blessing from another country that was mine to receive?!
Our plane landed.
She left to meet up with her coworkers and I remained as I was still not at my destination.
She realized we had not even exchanged names and she returned to ask me who I was.
Then she said, "I am Loan L-O-A-N like money."
So there you have the story of the Loan that made me rich!!!
"One can pay back the loan of gold, but one dies forever in debt to those who are kind." ~Malayan Proverb
"The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own." ~Benjamin Disraeli