On Wednesday morning at the Greenville-Spartanburg airport, the Turner family was waiting anxiously. Ansley, Carson, and Laney were waiting for their dad. Little Camden was waiting for his grandfather, and Mr. & Mrs. Turner were waiting for their son. Jason Turner — father, grandfather, and son — was coming home from Afghanistan to spend the holidays with his family, and he is sure to be hugged, kissed, and lovingly admired as soon as he gets within sight of his family.
I am a seasoned airport greeter, and truly love the whole build-up that goes with waiting for family to arrive. My children and I plot ruses that will surprise our visitors but not scare them. I am the front person, seemingly alone, and then the kids jump out from the wings and into the arms of an aunt, cousin, or grandmother. This is our welcoming committee scenario.
One of my favorite movies, “Love Actually,” pays homage to the wondrous airport love-fest. Beyond the fab mostly British cast — Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant, Bill Nighy, Colin Firth, Kiera Knightley, and Emma Thompson — who each tackle and triumph with affairs of the heart, the general theme supports the idea that “love is actually all around.” The first and last scenes of the movie take place in airports; the camera, in slow, lyrical motion, catches a multitude of happy reunions. The narrator’s opening sentence is: “Whenever i get gloomy about the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport.”
So if you find yourself in an airport this holiday season, take note of the XOXO that’s all around. It’s pretty spectacular.