I didn't know her name. But this older lady with short hair - the gray peeking out from the bottled auburn colour - was sitting in seat 5C - my seat. The flight was packed with not a seat to spare. She moved over into the middle seat, repeating her apology in her sing-song Newfoundland lilt.
I didn't know her name. But this lady in the seat next to me, with her hands folded nervously in her lap was a grandma. Her son and his two kids were sitting ten rows back and they were all headed to Fort McMurray to visit her other son and his family. She doesn't travel much by plane -- just a trip or two to Toronto is all.
I didn't know her name. But I learned that the dusty rose hope-inscribed scarf around her neck was given to her by her daughter ten years ago -- after she passed the five year clear milestone for breast cancer. I learned she only had one breast left and that we shared the same neck scar from our thyroid surgeries.
I didn't know her name. But I know that she misses the husband she lost two years ago. And that she has nine sisters and eight brothers to visit when she gets lonely.
I didn't know her name but I held her hand as the plane landed and bounced to an eventual stop. I helped her find the sleeve to her coat. And I wished her safe travels as we departed.
We met as strangers on a plane. I didn't know her name. But I wish I did.