To The Woman Who Held My Baby On The Plane… Thank You.

You never know how one act of kindness can truly affect someone. To be honest, until the woman who held my baby on a plane, during the worst days of my life, I don’t think I truly understood the depth of a small act of kindness  towards a stranger.

I recently lost one of my brothers to a tragic and extremely sudden medical emergency. This happened right around New Years Day. My family and I were visiting in Virginia when we got the call from my mom that my brother was on life support and we needed to get there, to Washington state, as soon as possible.

During the worst days of my life, I realized how a small act of kindness can affect someone. To the woman who held my baby on the plane...Because it was such short notice, the airline could not get my family of six on a flight all together, so it was just my daughter (one of the twins) and I flying on our own. The next day, my husband would fly up with the other three.

We had to switch plans three times during that flight home, and they were the longest flights of my life. The only thing that I could think of was making sure that I got home in time to say goodbye to my brother and to be with my family.

For my sweet girl, it was late. It was an extremely long day and night for her, and she was exhausted. The entire first flight, she screamed. Literally, the entire flight, 1.5 hours, she cried and fussed and just was not happy with anything. The man in front of me had switched us seats so that she could have her own spot to sprawl out.

Nope. She didn’t care about that.

To The Women Who Held My Baby

When we finally got off of that flight, which was late, we had to run to our next flight in order to make it. We barely got there before they closed the doors. I sat down in the window seat with a fussy baby, completely defeated and aching to just be home with my family. I was thankful that the people who sat down next to us were a kind looking woman and her father.

She made small talk with me, and commented on how cute my daughter was, but I could barely make a smile. She asked what I was going to Washington for…. all I could mutter was, “an emergency”.

My little one  started fussing again about 30 minutes into that flight. No bottle or toy or snack was going to get her to stop. She was so exhausted, but refusing to sleep. I tried to keep it together, but I was battling the tears.

The woman next to me kindly asked if she could take her for a minute. This isn’t something I would normally do, just out of being a worrier by nature. However, she had spoken to me earlier about her own daughter, much older now, and at that point I would have done anything to calm her down.

She held her and rocked her for a long time, even when my little one was screaming and fighting her. She finally fell asleep and the woman asked if she could just hold her while she slept. My heart just felt a hint of immediate relief when she did. I was so thankful for this moment.

This woman had no idea what I was going through. She had no clue that my heart was breaking and that I was going through losing someone who was so important in my life. She didn’t pry, she didn’t complain that my child was screaming, she only offered to help.

I turned away and stared out into the black night outside of the plane, and just let the tears flow. It was in that moment that I was so thankful for the kindness of strangers. Without her, I would have lost it completely I think.

As a mom, we all know that motherhood can be hard. When we are grieving or going through hard times, it is even more difficult to keep it together for our children.

So to the woman who held my baby on the plane, on the worst day of my life, thank you. You will never how much that meant to me, what strength that gave me to push through without breaking down that night, and how that plane ride will forever hold a place in my heart. I can never repay you for your kindness. While it may not bring relief to the heartache of losing my brother, it helped a broken mom feel a little bit less alone that night.

joanna at motherhood and merlot

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  1. Tears are totally streaming down my face. You hear about these stories, and it just brings back faith in humanity. I’m so sorry for your loss, but I’m thankful you had an angel on that plane who helped comfort you in a desperate time of need.

  2. I had a similar situation while flying back home to my Uncle’s funeral. It was my first time traveling with my infant daughter, she was very fussy and didn’t want us remain seated, and my emotions we crazy out of control. I had a wonderful flight attendant that held my baby girl and walked around with her until she calmed down. Thank you for sharing and bringing up the fact that our acts of kindness can do so much more for others than we sometimes realize.

  3. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story about that kind woman who made the world of a difference with such a small, kind gesture.

  4. What a lovely gesture. When my sister died, I flew alone from Colorado to New York, and basically just sat in my seat crying the entire flight… The people next to me gave me tissues. Sometimes little gestures mean a lot.

  5. This is a beautiful act of kindness! I read about a similar story not too long ago. So wonderful to hear that there are such kind hearted, helpful people out there.

  6. I am hugging you close from afar. I cannot imagine all that you have been through. Keep writing…it is cathartic. Let it all out in the time that you need. You are one strong amazing woman

  7. I teared up reading this. My condolences to you and your family. Sometimes we’re exactlt where we need to be–the woman on the plane was exactly where she needed to be to give you some comfort.

  8. Tears formed as I read this. I can’t imagine losing a loved one. I am so sorry for your loss. I’ve had plenty of plane rides with Aubrey and I was so thankful for strangers. Always asking if I had a bag, they would grab for me. Or even buying her a snack when she already had some. The small things do matter and their are amazing people all around the world. Praying for you love.

  9. Beautiful post, it made me cry. I’ve been thinking about you a lot. It’s been almost 10yrs since my family lost one of our own… My cousin, he was only 23. It was a huge sudden and tragic loss, and not a day goes by that I don’t think of him. But once in a while I get little signs that he’s with me, as I’m sure you will too. I love that the woman on the plane asked if she could hold your baby for a while, and that you let her. Who knows, maybe one day she’ll read this post and smile knowing she helped you. Hang in there ?

  10. Loved this post – I remember having a cry sat on the steps outside where I work – a stranger came up and sat next to me and just asked if I was okay and if I wanted a hug – made a huge difference x

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