I filled the space between “likely” and “definite” hovering somewhere between hope and denial. In classic fight or flight fashion I chose flight and booked two trips. One was to visit my son at school 2,400 miles west in Arizona and the other to visit my daughter who was studying abroad 2,600 miles east, in London.  My son was having a rough semester physically and mentally and I thought a dose of “mom” might help get him through till May.  As for London, it was an opportunity to finally get to visit Europe.  Plus I was excruciatingly missing them both.  This was no time to be having two out of three children so far away from me. I went with my husband to London, but flew alone to AZ.  The funny thing about airline travel is whenever I fly alone, I always, without fail, meet someone whose memory lasts a lifetime. I’ve exchanged emails, Christmas cards, tears, hand holding, you name it, with folks I meet when I fly. Go figure. When I flew home from my visit with my son, I got on the plane in search of merely a window seat that I could simply lay my head down and rest on for the long flight home. I never intend to chat, it’s just that there is an uncanny occurrence whenever I fly solo that the person who is next to me happens to be just the person I need.  This time I saw an empty window seat by a middle aged couple and when I asked if I could scoot in, the husband told me that his wife wasn’t able to move very easily and requested that I not get up too often.  I never use the rest room while flying unless it’s a dire emergency so I assured him that I would not disturb them.  We exchanged small talk while we taxied and before I knew it I just had to ask the question of the wife, “Do you have MS?”  She could have been slightly immobilized by anything so why I asked that specific a thing could only be that it was on my mind and her somewhat unsurprising answer was yes.  Well there you go. My usual coincidental flight companion.  We talked the entire five hours after I told her where I hovered in my pre, or would it be peri, diagnosis state and I asked her questions about the disease. As we were about to deplane we started to exchange email addresses and I asked her for her name. She said her name was Hope. I still get goosebumps as I re-tell the story.

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