As 9am rolled around, Dave got to the bottom of his coffee. He joined the line for a refill.The woman in front of him chatted to her line mates, clearly excited to be there. In a land of dour faces, Dave wondered why she was so chipper.
“My son,” she beamed when he asked. Mark lived in Ontario and she hadn’t seen him in two years. That’s a very long time when you’re a mother.
“He’s coming home at 4pm on Christmas Day,” she grinned.
Dave smiled too.
“Why are you in the airport today?” he asked. It was Dec. 18, after all. It seemed overly cautious. Flights do arrive early, but not usually by a factor of days.
Turns out Marilyn worked at the airport. Christmas Day, she’d be home preparing the feast. She was dispatching her other son, Andy, from Truro to collect Mark.
“That’s what Christmas is all about when you’re older,” she confided in Dave. “Seeing family.”
Dave nodded, as if he knew.
Nova Scotia weather being Nova Scotia weather, she was prepared to keep the bird roasting as late as it took.
“We may eat at midnight – I don’t care,” she sighed as she waited in the coffee line. “I’m just excited. It’ll be nice to have my sons, and myself, and the big turkey. That’s Christmas.”
Dave didn’t share with her his ideal of Christmas: alone, in a brightly-lit airport.
That might sound weird.