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Our last day in London and this could have been our last picture on this earth…

My sister Shelly is laughing, you know that nervous laugh, I am saying the Lord’s Prayer out loud and Jessica is screaming hysterically. This was the second flight of nine flights we would take in the next 14 days.

The skies are dark, very dark almost evil and the wind is howling like a nightmare in your dreams. The plane is shaking from side to side as we are taking off. The creeks of metal clashing together, the twin little girls are talking to their Mom in the seats in front of us and all I kept thinking, should we be taking off in this weather? We finally get airborne for this 30-minute flight from London to Paris and it was the most frightening event of my life. I have flown in rough weather but nothing like this. The plane was literally bouncing through the air and when I mean bounce, I am talking about up and down, side to side with dramatic plunges. The plane was silent for the first 10 minutes and then you start to see people look around, hold hands and whispers of “oh man, this is it”!

Frightened and starting to panic we are going to crash and drown in the English Channel, I do the only thing that flashes through my mind. If I pray hard enough it will all go away. Shelly is in the seat in front of me and she turns and looks at me through the crack in the seat. It is going to be okay Laurie, relax. My reply is “holy crap balls, we are going down”! She starts to laugh her little laugh that she does when she gets nervous and all I can see is the iconic airplane scene in “Almost Famous”! Seriously, that is what I envisioned…  Jessica is now in full hysterics and I am praying out loud at this point. The whole plane is silent at moments and then when we plunge, the screaming begins again.

After 20 minutes, the Captain comes on and is trying to reassure everyone that we will be fine and to just hold on and brace yourselves. In my mind, that definitely means, get ready to crash. They have said your life flashes before your eyes in moments where you know life is dangerously close to being lost. It really does happen that way and finally I was at peace with it all and I turned to Jessica and said, “I love you”.

This was our whirlwind trip to celebrate her graduation from College and also a trip of a lifetime. We were jet setters traveling Europe, a trip for her to really apply the different cultures for her new career in Interior Design. Something she had dreamed of. Something to hold dear for the rest of her life. Memories and tangible ideas for her new life as an adult. She looked at me and said, “Is this really happening Mom”?   You really do reach a point where it is all out of your control and you just start to relax and go with it. I do admit, I have a flair for the dramatic and I rock it but when that plane landed my whole body was in a nervous shake, the adrenaline I guess, my head bowed forward on the seat in front of me and all I kept saying is how are we going to get home because I will NEVER get on another airplane, EVER.

Needless to say we did get on the airplane but with a little help called Xanex. Let the drooling begin…

By the way, the next day we were watching the news and found out we had flown thru a hurricane. Something that is very rare and never happens in Europe. I guess now, they will be a little more cautious taking off in weather they do not understand. We all looked at each other in amazement that we actually survived but what a story we have to tell…

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