The Life Sentence
You found me alone on a bench in an abandoned terminal of the airport in Puerto Rico. I was crying, had been for hours, my face puffy and unrecognizable. The bright white walls and lights of the terminal made me feel like I was in a hospital, but there was no hospital that could heal the pain that I was feeling. I was twenty-one and thought the world was ending during the longest layover of my life.
I noticed you immediately. You were one of only five people who had passed me that afternoon on route to another terminal that actually had planes flying out of it. You were carrying a large bag, and had a white beard that resembled that of Santa Clause. It was so ironic considering it was only days after Christmas. You stopped and said, "I have no idea what you are going through right now, but I promise you that everything is going to be alright." And before even waiting for my response, you disappeared up the escalator to the next destination on your journey.
I want you to know how much faith your simple sentence instilled in me that day. It took time, years, but I want you to know that everything did turn out to be alright. I am happy, strong, confident. A lot of tragedy occurred in my life after I saw you, but so did a lot of victories. Every time a moment catches me off guard and I feel the cold kitchen floor against my bottom as I surrender to the pain, I remember a stranger who took a moment out of his day in an empty terminal to tell me everything was going to be alright when I thought the world was ending. And it fills me up with so much hope, enough to get up off of that floor and show the world that it cannot defeat me. I am worthy and I am going to live the most courageous hopeful life I can. Because an angel took five seconds out of his day to notice my pain and ensure me that everything is going to be alright in this life.
Thank you for providing me with what has become my ethereal, sublime life sentence.