Rick and I met the summer of 2005, in a bar on Mass Street in Lawrence, Kansas while attending the University of Kansas. We dated for a couple years, but ultimately ended our relationship when I moved to Kansas City to begin my post-college job. We always stayed in touch through social media and the occasional phone call or text.
When my Grandma Bette fell terminally ill at 92, I went to Dallas to be with her in her final days and to support my Mom. It was 2012, during the Thanksgiving holiday, and what we thought might take a few days, ended up lasting close to a week –she was an incredibly resilient woman. And she also had an unwavering faith in love.
After one of the most emotional weeks of my life, I started looking for flights home to Kansas City. As we all know, holiday travel can be chaotic, but the Southwest Employees I encountered were extremely empathetic and helpful in getting me home as quickly as possible given my circumstances. While waiting to board, I discovered Rick had been visiting his family in Dallas for the holiday and was on my same flight. There we both were at Dallas Love Field, in Texas, and on a random Saturday afternoon.
Thanks to Southwest’s open seating policy, we were able to sit next to each other and catch up. He listened to the experience I had just been through watching my Grandmother pass and was there for me during one of the most vulnerable times of my life. To this day, I swear my Grandma Bette sent him to be with me that day not wanting me to be alone and not wanting me to stop believing in love.
Rick and I reconnected several months later at my graduate school party and started dating again shortly after. We now have a rambunctious two-year old, Tripp, and are building a beautiful life together. I want to thank Southwest for playing a critical role in bringing us back together; Rick for being my lifelong travel buddy through all our crazy adventures; my dearest Grandma Bette for her faith in love; and fate, really, for it all.