What I Learned about love from a stranger

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Dear Chase, 
The chances of me EVER seeing you again or learning your last name are close to impossible. But I wanted to thank you for being so kind and helpful on my flight home from Los Angeles. It was an especially windy night in Utah and the last 40 minutes of our flight was turbulent and laden with anxiety (for me). 

We chatted when I first sat down and that's when I learned that you'd be traveling for 48 hours--all the way from Japan to Ogden to see your new nephew who was being born during our flight. Until take off, you were getting updates on the baby's progress. 

Yes, you were covered in tattoos and clearly had holes in your ears from where gauges used to be. I didn't know what kind of person you were, but I had a good feeling about you. Your long hair and beard were neatly kept and your clothes looked new and clean. But then you told me how long you'd been traveling and apologized for being "ripe". It made me chuckle. ( And then maybe grossed me out if I thought about it too long). 

You were so kind to trade seats with me when I mentioned that sitting by the window was helpful to me because seeing the ground lessons my anxiety. Later in the flight, when I grabbed your arm and asked if you would please talk to me and tell me stories about your life to distract me, you took out your headphones (I know you were exhausted) and told me about your pregnant and tough wife who is a police woman in the military. You told me about the animal rescue shelter where you work in Japan and showed me photos of kittens while I breathed in and out and counted to ten repeatedly. I loved hearing about life in Japan--the fantastic way they eat such healthy foods, the cleanliness and organization of the city, and the culture. After all this, you mentioned that you usually don't talk at all on flights. But you said it in a kind way. 

But the most thoughtful thing you did during that flight wasn't for me, it was for your wife back home. Remember when things got really bad as we neared landing and I grabbed your hand with a death grip? You nicely told me it was OK for me to hold your forearm but not your hand. Earlier, you had told me about your crazy landing in Japan when the plane almost tipped on its side and the elderly woman next to you held your hand and then fainted. And then you said, "But you aren't a grandma and I don't think it would be appropriate to hold your hand. "

I wish I could tell your wife how thoughtful that was! Even with a stranger in distress and your tough pregnant wife thousands of miles away in Japan, you had her in mind. And while I was just acting out of a gut reaction (I promise I wasn't trying to "hold your hand"!), you showed me what it means to be kind, considerate, and a caring human and husband. 

Bravo, Chase with tattoos and ear gauges from Ogden who hadn't showered or slept in 48 hours, Bravo! And THANK YOU! I truly believe what I said, you are going to be a great dad. 

Much love, 
Molly from Park City who spent 5 days without any kids in Los Angeles with friends both old and new and ate amazing food and had a fabulous vacation. 

It was so nice to meet you. I love what you taught me on that flight. 


  1. I love this! What an outstanding man. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I love this story on so many levels. I read it out loud to my husband because he probably would have done everything the opposite of what this guy did and he knows it. He wouldn't have traded seats because he wipes his down with clorox wipes and would have to sanitize a new seat :) He is not social and tries to have minimal conversations with strangers. He has anxiety and it used to be really bad with flying but has lessened through the years. Maybe he would have offered you one of his Xanax! Love my husband but he does not make a good flying buddy. It sounds like Chase was a blessing and exactly what you needed on this flight.


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