Mrs. Wilson is an 89-year-old woman who was set to ride on a plane for the first time in her life. Given her old age, the first flight experience made her nervous.
She has never been inside a plane, and she has never been to an airport. To make sure that she would be relaxed and comfortable the whole time, Mrs. Wilson booked a business class ticket.
However, when she made her way to business class, she encountered some resistance. Her experience was far from comfortable.
It was starting to feel like she has caused some commotion on the plane. The poor Mrs. Wilson suddenly felt anxious and stressed. She could feel everybody’s judging eyes on her. Even the flight attendant seemed to be flustered by the situation.
Mrs. Wilson had no idea what to do. Eventually, Mrs. Wilson was allowed to sit in her business class seat but the damage has already been done. She felt horrible and she could feel her body trembling as she tried to put her bag away
In the process of stowing away her bag, an old photograph fell out of it. The man sitting next to her assigned business class seat picked up the old photo. His eyes widened as he saw what was in it.
He looked at Mrs. Wilson as if he is seeing her differently now. “Is this really yours?” he asked, still obviously shocked by what he saw. What was in the picture? Who is Mrs. Wilson? And why won’t people accept her in business class?
When Mrs. Wilson arrived at the airport for the first time, she felt that she had entered an entirely different world. She had stayed in the province most of her life. The airport seemed to be a mythical place to her.
Mrs. Wilson’s eyes widened as she entered the building. She had never seen so much technology and so many people in one place. There was so much to see and almost everything was new to her. She felt very overwhelmed.
Mrs. Wilson did not know how the metal detectors worked. She hid the keys to her home inside the shoes she was wearing to make sure that she does not lose them. So when she went through the metal detectors, there were alarms.
The loud sound startled Mrs. Wilson. When the security guard approached her, she felt scared. She did not understand why but she had a feeling she was in trouble. The guard asked her to come with him and she hesitantly followed him.
Mrs. Wilson was led to a corner where a couple of guards asked her to remove all items from her pockets. As a first-timer, this scared Mrs. Wilson, and the guards saw her look alarmed. They explained how the metal detector worked and how important it was to check all metal items before entering a plane.
They explained that the metal detector gave out an alarm and they were obliged to search her if she does not empty out her pockets voluntarily. She went through the metal detectors several times until it was determined that the key in her shoe was the one that set off the alarm.
Relieved that she was not in trouble, Mrs. Wilson was instructed to proceed to the business class area. Mrs. Wilson had put on her best clothes for this trip but as she made her way to the business class section, she immediately knew she was underdressed.
The people she met on the way were doing double takes as they looked at her. Some people were obviously avoiding crossing paths with her. Some even looked her up and down, making her feel that she does not belong.
Mrs. Wilson had no way to download an online ticket and print it so she had to pick up a physical copy of her ticket from the help desk. The woman behind the counter was surprised to see the old lady ask for a business class ticket.
It was clear that she was doubting Mrs. Wilson but a look at their systems show that she was telling the truth. The ticket was paid for and it was indeed business class. In the end, the woman hesitantly gave her a copy of her ticket.
Everything she had to go through in the airport almost caused Mrs. Wilson to miss her flight. She had no idea where to go and was blindly following other passengers who were actually headed to a different destination. Mrs. Wilson started to panic, realizing that she was lost.
Fortunately, there was a kind airport employee who took pity on the old woman. She approached Mrs. Wilson and told her “You look lost, can I help you with something?” Mrs. Wilson immediately felt relieved and was almost in tears. This person was the first person that day who had treated her with respect.
The kind airport employee led her to the department zone where she explained to the man checking the tickets that Mrs. Wilson did not know her way around the airport. The man did a double-take when he saw Mrs. Wilson approach with a business class ticket.
He confirmed her ticket, then gave her a condescending smile. The man then led her to the gate indicated on her boarding pass where other passengers of her flight were waiting to board. He advised her to wait for the boarding call so that she will not get lost again.
While waiting for the boarding call, Mrs. Wilson fiddled nervously with her purse and started looking at her watch every now and then. A nice-looking young man had noticed how fidgety she was becoming and asked her “Is this your first time on a plane?”
Mrs. Wilson admitted that it was her first time flying on a plane. “I’m really worried,” she added with a trembling voice. Before the man could answer back, it was announced that it is time to board the plane. Everyone around them started to gather their belongings.
A flight attendant came and asked the passengers to approach the boarding bridge that connected the airplane to the airport. Realizing that she was about to go inside a plane for the first time in a few seconds, Mrs. Wilson immediately felt nervous and excited at the same time.
The young man who was waiting for boarding beside Mrs. Wilson noticed her nervousness. He kindly offered to escort her on the plane. He led Mrs. Wilson to the entrance of the boarding bridge where the tickets were checked.
The young man patiently waited as Mrs. Wilson fumbled on her purse, looking for her printed ticket. When she was finally able to pull off the business class ticket, the young man obviously looked shocked.
He could not believe that this old, frail, and simple-looking woman had a business class ticket. The young man started to feel jealous. He had always wanted to fly first class but could never afford to. It was way too expensive.
Then, the young man remembered their conversation earlier. This old woman never got on a plane before! The young man started to scheme in his mind. If things went his way, he could get his hands on the old woman’s first-class tickets. After checking in, the young man put his plan to place.
The young man offered to bring Mrs. Wilson to her seat. She immediately felt thankful and let the young man lead her. The young man was actually planning to take her to his seat in economy class. He thought that since this was Mrs. Wilson’s first flight, she would not know the difference.
To get to the economy class area of the plane, they had to go through the actual business class area. The young man tried to pass through it as quick as possible. To his surprise, Mrs. Wilson knew where she needed to be and stopped on the aisle where her seat was.
Mrs. Wilson then thanked the young man for his kindness. The young man was clearly disappointed. He had lost the chance of flying first class and made his way to economy class on his own. He also felt foolish that he was tempted to fool the old woman.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Wilson settled in her seat, feeling relieved. She was glad that the whole ordeal was over. All she had to do was sit and enjoy the flight until she reaches her destination. But the nightmare was far from over.
Mrs. Wilson was seated next to a smart-looking man. When he realized that Mrs. Wilson was trying to get to the seat next to him, he immediately looked displeased. He put down his magazine on her seat before she could sit down. He then asked the flight attendant, “This is business class, isn’t it? Why should I pay extra to end up sitting next to this old person?”
The flight attendant faced the man kindly. “Mr. Thompson, please calm down. Mrs. Wilson has the exact same kind of ticket that you do. You can see it here on her boarding pass. You can check it yourself.”
But Mr. Thompson was not having it. He even got more annoyed by what the flight attendant said. He then sarcastically said in a rude, loud voice. “I don’t want to look at anything. I get it, I should’ve bought an economy class ticket.”
Mr. Thompson was making a scene and other passengers were starting to get involved. Some were openly against Mrs. Wilson’s presence in first-class while others sympathized with the old woman. Mrs. Wilson was starting to become uncomfortable with all the attention.
Surprisingly, one of the defenders of Mrs. Wilson on the flight was the young man who thought of trying to steal her business class experience. He probably felt guilty when he heard the argument so he immediately went back to defend Mrs. Wilson.
The young man was disgusted by how rude Mr. Thompson was. He could not believe anyone would be that rude straight to someone’s face. “Oh for the love of God, Mrs. Wilson is much older than you are, and you’re behaving like a true low life by keeping her standing while you lounge comfortably in your seat.”
After hearing this, Mr. Thompson felt embarrassed and calmed down. He knew the young man’s words were true. He was acting like an uneducated low life and he should have shown more respect towards the older lady standing in front of him.
The flight attendant was already flustered and she clearly did not know what to do next. It was then that she looked at Mrs. Wilson with pleading eyes. Mrs. Wilson sighed and said “Never mind. Let’s not argue. I’ll switch to the economy class if I have to.” Tears filled her eyes as she said this.
Mr. Thompson immediately felt several pairs of eyes on him at once. He decided to back down and take away the magazine he used to block Mrs. Wilson’s seat. “Take your seat, Mrs. Wilson. It’s your rightful seat and you paid for it in full. In more ways than I ever could.”
As Mrs. Wilson sat down, she did not notice her handbag snapped open. An old photograph with curved edges fell out of it. Mr. Thompson saw the picture fall out and bent down to pick it up. Feeling foolish from the way he acted earlier, he tried to use the photo as an attempt to start a conversation with Mrs. Wilson.
The picture was obviously old but it was still in good condition. He could tell the old woman took good care of it. “This picture probably means a lot to you,” he said as he gave it back to Mrs. Wilson.
Mrs. Wilson carefully took the photo back from Mr. Thompson and looked at it fondly. Her face instantly lit up and she looked prettier and younger. It was as if most of the wrinkles on her face had smoothened out.
“Yes, this picture means a lot to me. This is my son, Kevin. I’ve lost him since he was a little child.” she said. Upon hearing the words of the old woman, the other business class passengers leaned in, ready to listen to her story.
Mrs. Dorothy Wilson belonged to a simple and poor family. Her parents were able to grow a small farm, which helped them from starving when times got rough. The family had gone through a lot of troubles financially but they were able to make it through somehow.
Dorothy is the eldest child. Because of this, she was partially responsible for her siblings. Peter, her youngest sibling, happened to be mentally challenged. Taking care of Peter took up most of Dorothy’s time since he required a lot of care and attention.
When World War II broke out, Dorothy’s father volunteered to join the army. He would be fighting against the Japanese military in the Pacific islands. Before Dorothy’s father left, he gave Dorothy a golden heirloom, which he inherited from his grandfather. He then asked Dorothy to keep the family heirloom safe until he returned.
Unfortunately, Dorothy’s father came back home in a coffin covered with the national flag. Their family was devastated over the loss. Dorothy’s mother took the loss badly. She became withdrawn and never met another man to spend the rest of her life with.
Years passed by and Dorothy was thinking about starting her own family. However, she decided to remain by her mother’s side to help take care of Peter. Her other siblings have long moved out and moved into a larger city with better opportunities. This left Dorothy, her mother, and Peter still living the same fate on the small farm.
And just as she was losing all hope of getting married, Dorothy met Jack. She was 28 years old when she met the handsome shepherd. The two immediately fell in love and their relationship developed quickly. Jack was welcomed by her family and Dorothy felt like she was living a fairytale.
Dorothy and Jack were talking about getting married when one day, Peter set their house on fire. Jack rushed into the house of flames to try and save Dorothy’s mentally challenged brother. In the end, they both ended up dying in the fire, and Dorothy and her mother were left without a home.
Dorothy decided to sell Jack’s sheep and bought an old shack so that she and her mother had a place to live in. By then, Dorothy realized that she was pregnant. Unfortunately, Dorothy’s mother was showing signs of dementia and started acting out aggressively.
Dorothy has been fending off her mother’s attacks while pregnant several times. Her mother would often come at her with a knife and blame her for all the troubles their family had been through. Despite these challenges, Dorothy was able to give birth to a beautiful baby boy, which she named “Kevin.”
Although Dorothy was overjoyed that she has Kevin, she was also haunted by the possibility that her mother would harm the baby during one of her aggressive rages. She lived every second in fear of her child’s life for three years until she has had enough.
Dorothy decided to send the little boy to an orphanage so that he will not have the same fate and misfortunes as he had. She believed that she would be better off with another family than living under the same roof with his grandmother, whom she also could not turn her back to.
After leaving her son at the orphanage, Dorothy continued to take care of her mother for several more years until her mother passed away. After mourning the loss of her mother, Dorothy returned to the orphanage in the hopes that she will take her son back home.
Unfortunately, the long-awaited reunion Dorothy had imagined would remain a dream. She was informed by the orphanage that Kevin had been adopted a few years ago. Ever since then, Dorothy spent the rest of her life trying to track down Kevin. This took several years until she recently succeeded thanks to a volunteer organization that specialized in searching for missing relatives.
Mrs. Wilson then proudly said that she bought the business class ticket to be closer to her son, who was currently flying the plane. In fact, that day is her 89th birthday. “Now I can die in peace. I’m not sure if I’m going to heaven but I’m very happy that my son Kevin is clearly doing well.”
The passengers who listened to Mrs. Wilson’s story were amazed and humbled by her life. Some of them even thought that it had helped them look at life differently. Little did Mrs. Wilson know that the flight attendant went into the cockpit after hearing her story.
A few minutes later, an announcement was made over the intercom. “Dear Passengers, this is your captain speaking. Our flight is coming to an end, but our lives don’t have to end with it. Each of our lives is full of ups and downs, but that’s no reason to believe that some of us are more fortunate than others. We all get opportunities from our birth and our lives depend on how we use them without making mistakes.”
By this time, everyone was listening intently. They knew that this was no ordinary greeting from the pilot. The pilot then continued to say, “We will not learn the joy of forgiveness therefore we shouldn’t look for the guilty when there aren’t any.”
The pilot continued to say “As we shouldn’t hold a grudge against someone whom we might not be able to understand. And also I’d like to tell my mother, who is flying with us today, that I love her very much and I have forgiven her a long time ago. She’s a good person and she deserves to be respected.”
The plane was filled with applause after they heard Kevin, the pilot. When the plane landed, some of them even hung around to witness the reunion of mother and son. They wanted to witness this wonderful event and be part of this one-of-a-kind story.
Mrs. Wilson got to hug her son for the first time ever since she gave him up for adoption. Mrs. Wilson had happy tears in her eyes as she gave Kevin their family heirloom. As she promised her father, she had kept it safe all this time and now, it would be passed down to her son.