15 hours of travel down, only one to go. I was exhausted, delirious, and starving. A nacho cheese omelette was not enough to fulfill any of my needs, nor was it what I anticipated would come my way when I ordered a ham and cheese omelette at the bustling Atlanta airport.
With two flights down and only one to go, I anxiously awaited boarding my 45 minute flight. I jumped up with more glee than should be possible operating on two hours of sleep when the Delta gate agent called my boarding group. I walked on board, and found seat 7A, my home for the next 45 minutes. My seat belt was fastened, my adrenaline was heightened, and my destination was finally within reach. I love airplanes, as I think you know by now, but boy — was I ready to get off this one and hug my sweet Georgia peaches.
The first day in Georgia was an amazing one. I found renewed energy in being with people I love, taking in the striking coastal views, and eating the comforting (nacho cheese-less) southern cuisine. Every ounce of my being was happy. As the sun set, I found myself dreading the day’s end despite knowing how badly my head needed to find itself resting upon my pillow. My mom and I settled into the hotel room around 8 PM. I put my pajamas on, washed my face, and went to plug in my phone.
But there was nothing to plug it in to.
My stomach dropped, and then I realized what happened. Amidst the exhaustion, delirium, and starvation, I boarded my flight without checking that I had all my belongings in tow. My phone charger was in the Atlanta airport. Or in the possession of another person. Another lucky person who does not know how special that little cable is.
That phone charger was from my dad. He bought it for me in a wholesale order without thinking twice. I didn’t think twice either. I mean, it’s a phone charger. I would bet that most people don’t remember the origin of their own phone charger. I wouldn’t either, except this one was from my dad. To me, this skyrockets its value from $20 to priceless. It was one piece of him that I held onto as if it were a treasure found deep in the sea.
I said this a couple months ago, but it still holds true today: the little things of loss tug on my heart stronger than the larger things.
This phone charger was old and nearly defective. I was well aware that it was time for a new one, but I still intended on keeping this one as a tangible sign of my dad: holding what he held and using what he used. It brought me a strange sense of comfort I was reminded of each time I plugged in my phone. While I can always remember this sense, I will never experience it again.
Letting go is an important part of the grieving experience. It is also the part I struggle with the most. I will hoard and latch on to anything I can that will allow the familiar comfort of my dad to continue to engulf me. I know this is an unhealthy habit. In that way, I guess I can thank the Delta gate agent for calling me to board in a hurry, forcing me to let go in a new way.
After letting go, we must move on in the grief process. I am currently running errands. My next stop is Target. It’s time to buy a new phone charger.