“What’s it like to fly on a plane?” 11-year-old Becca texted me.
Becca is blind, and she is my friend. She lives in north Alabama, and her parents are canonized saints. She has had quite a childhood.
Quite a childhood indeed.
“You wanna know what it’s like to fly?” I texted back.
At the time I was sitting in the plane, flying livestock class, the cheapest way to fly, unless you strap yourself to the landing gears. Sometimes livestock-class passengers have to ride with chickens or various Billy goats on their laps.
Right now, seated on my lap is a laying hen named Gertrude. Gertrude is fussy and, apparently, suffering lower intestinal problems.
“Tell me what it’s like to fly,” texts Becca.
Becca is a grade-schooler who has become my good friend. I’m not sure how our friendship happened. But it did.
Among other things, we have music in common. Becca has a voice like a cherub, a mind like a razor, and she is cuter than a duck in a hat.
Becca and I have performed together onstage before. It was a success.
Last month, at one of my recent shows, she accompanied me and sang “O What A Beautiful Morning,” then “Amazing Grace.”
Then Becca told the whole audience how she lost her vision, and how the first face she expects to see someday is God’s face.
She brought the house down. People wept so hard I heard audience members blowing snot into their shirttails. People were not just crying. These were sobs, complete with wailing and moaning.
Becca received so many standing ovations that evening that many audience members reported that they were in need of emergency meniscus surgery.
It was a night I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.
“I’ve never been on a boat or a plane,” Becca texted as my plane lifted off. “Tell me what it’s like…”
“It’s like riding a tornado,” I texted back.
And I’m not lying, either. I hate to fly. Flying is modern day medieval torture. You’re sitting, cramped, between hundreds of stinky people who do not bathe regularly or wear anti-perspirant, and are grumpy, and everyone either had a communicable illnesses or bad gas, which they are quite eager to share with you.
“You don’t want to fly,” I text back.
“Yes I do.”
This made me smile.
Namely, because Becca texts me occasionally. And her messages are the greatest joy I’ve ever known.
I am so grateful that her parents encourage her to text me. For she is a wise child, a kid who knows more about life than I ever will.
Becca was an infant born to those addicted to drugs. She was abandoned. Then she was adopted by two parents (Justin and Mina) who deserve to have their portraits painted in the Sistine Chapel for all they’ve done to help children who need love.
Let the record show: Becca’s parents are my heroes.
“Maybe one day I’ll get to fly,” Becca says. “That would be so cool.”
Well, I don’t have any kids. When my wife and I were married, we learned we couldn’t have children. A little piece of us shriveled up.
And I always wondered what it would be like. I’m not sorry about the way our lives turned out. But sometimes I wonder.
Sometimes I see kids out in public with their parents and I get so overcome with smiles that my eyes start to blur up.
Sometimes I find myself praying earnestly for the children of my friends, even though their kids probably don’t even recall who I am.
I bring all this up because Becca wants to fly on an airplane. And although I can’t do much, I’m trying to make this happen.
I can promise you, you’re going to love Becca and her parents. Also, Becca and I perform a great duet of “Amazing Grace.”
Moreover, we are all more than happy to fly livestock class.
pdjpop - May 3, 2023 11:03 am
People of “advanced age” need children in their lives.
Being reminded of youth brings joy.
You just have to see the good in yourself and the child.
Love them. Listen to them. Speak WITH them not TOO them. Both of you will learn.
God bless Becca.
Pam - May 3, 2023 1:14 pm
How can we help make this happen for Becca?
Ron Riley - May 4, 2023 6:26 am
Im just curious how becca is texting you if she’s blind
Dee Thompson - May 4, 2023 6:16 pm
Perhaps God introduced you to Becca to show you that you and your wife have what it takes to adopt a child [love, a reasonable income, and a decent place to live] and thus become parents. You don’t have to adopt a baby. My son was 10 when I adopted him and he is the light of my life. I challenge you to contact your local department of family and children’s services and talk to them about adoption. You should get great information about adoptable kids in your area. Most children over the age of 2 never get adopted, and go on to be homeless or in jail because of a lack of love and stability…
Camille Simpson - May 4, 2023 7:55 pm
Wow …. This sounds like a job for Super Shaq…..he was born and raised not far from me. Although I do not know him I feel certain he would want to help this child and her special wishes…..so Shaquille O’Neal if you are seeing this here is an idea for you kind deed of the day and I think you are amazing. I don’t even like sports. Just you and Drew….