I was in Chicago earlier this week for an educator's conference and flew back home on a United flight. United Airlines primarily flies in and out of the North Satellite at Seatac Airport. It had been a long day, and a long flight, and I was tired and ready to get home when the plane pulled up to the gate at 8 pm last night. I gathered my things and found my way off the plane, chatting with my son on the cell phone to make arrangements to be picked up. As I hung up the phone and walked toward the escalators leading to the underground train and, eventually, baggage claim, I had an odd sensation come over me. Right in front of me was gate N10. I recognized it immediately as the gate where my accident happened just 14 months earlier.
I was literally stopped in my tracks. I have traveled dozens of times since that fateful trip last May, but I had never been this close to the scene of the accident. And, frankly, I was surprised at my own reaction all these months later. While I continue to deal with physical repercussions - the aching and stiffness in my ankle and the throbbing pain that wakes me on rainy nights - I had truly believed that the emotional trauma was over.
I have to travel again in another 12 days. I'm grateful that I am not flying United - which means chances are pretty good that I won't be flying out of the North Satellite. I obviously need a little more time to heal.