Dear Mr. Visser,
When you saw me twenty yards away in the Hertz car rental garage at Louis Armstrong Airport in NOLA and shouted for me to stop, I kept walking. You yelled for me to put everything down, then you dropped your luggage to run toward me. I wasn’t exactly sure what you were doing, so I continued to struggle with my 3.5 year-old on my back, dragging my falling car seat in one hand, pulling our other luggage in the other hand, and carrying two bags. I must have looked like a complete mess – because I was.
You probably didn’t know that just before you saw me, my little girl was chanting me on, ‘You can do it, Mama. You can do it, Mama. You can do it!’ I truly needed the encouragement, because I didn’t actually know if I could logistically, and physically, carry everything. We were already running late after stopping in the pouring rain to fill up the mammoth Yukon XL we’d just returned at, what must have been, the slowest gas pump in New Orleans – twice.
At the moment you saw me, I was regretting every single
packing choice decision leading up to this moment: bringing the car seat, not buying one of those awesome car seat travel carts, not leaving earlier, packing P’s 4 foot-long caterpillar catch from Mardi Gras, traveling to New Orleans with a child too small to carry luggage, not begging one of my sisters to come with me to the airport to help us get checked in, and leaving my husband behind on P and my first nine-day vacation together.
In addition to carrying her car seat and helping to restrap the bungie cords (I later figured out I had the car seat in a lowered position, which is why it wasn’t staying on the cart to begin with), and grabbing a Smart Carte to throw everything on, AND halting your own itinerary to walk us all the way back to the airport, directly to our airlines check-in, you provided meaningful conversation – the perfect end to our trip. You asked about my little girl, you shared with us your sister, Lesley Visser’s, story - the first woman to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall-of-Fame, you congratulated Seattle on the Seahawks’ Super Bowl win. You spoke about your mother and passed on her wisdom that little girls can do anything.
I was beginning to believe we might not even make it on time for our flight (we were quickly approaching the 1-hour before check-in rule), and was already imagining our day spent at the airport waiting for another flight out of town.
Thank you for your assistance and the time you took carrying our things to the our check-in location. Thank you for showing my daughter that truly kind, helpful people exist – my daughter has referred to you as ‘The Good Guy.’
I hope that this letter/post finds you well and that our paths cross again.
All my best,