|Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20, was one of the victims|
of the massacre at the Pulse nightlcub in Orlando
last Sunday. Passengers aboard a JetBlue flight wonderfully
comforted his grandmother as she flew
to Orlando for the funeral.
Fred (Mr.) Rogers once famously said:
"When I was a boy and I wuld see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me. 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'
To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother's words and I am always conforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers - so many caring people in this world."
On cue, the helpers materialized in droves in Orlando and around the world.
The first responders who saved lives. The people who lined up for hours under the hot Florida sun to give blood to save the wounded. The people who handed out umbrellas, water and granola bars to those people waiting in line.
Then there was the crew and passengers aboard a JetBlue flight to Orlando this week.
One of the youngest victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre was Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20. His grandmother, devastated, boarded a JetBlue flight to Orlando to go to her grandson's funeral.
The JetBlue crew knew why the grandmother was on that hour and half long flight to Orlando. That's because JetBlue offered free flights to Orlando for relatives heading there for funerals.
According to CNN, one of the flight attendants, Kelly Davis Karas, thought it would be nice to ask passengers if they wanted to sign a paper offering condolences for the grandmother on that flight as she and fellow flight attendant Melissa Sloop Winstead made their way up the aisle with the beverage cart.
Karas thought they'd just sign their names. But soon, there was a mad but quiet scramble to find more paper. Here's why, says CNN:
"Instead of signing their names and moving on, passengers were writing paragraphs - long notes of compassion, grief and strength.
'When we gathered them together to present them to her, we didn't have just a sheet of paper covered in names, which is what I had envisioned. Instead, we had page after page after page of long messages offering condolences, peace, love and support. There were even a couple of cash donations, and more than a few tears,' Karas wrote on her Facebook page."
When the plane landed, a couple of passengers asked for a moment of silence for Omar and the grandmother agreed to that.
When the moment of silence ended, people gathered their things to leave the plane.
However, everyone on board stopped and wished the grandmother well and offered condolences. Some people touched her hand, or hugged her, or cried with her. Not one person complained about the extra time it took getting off the plane because of this.
I confess I have shed a few tears over the Orlando massacre and all those victims. This story also made me shed tears, but happy ones, in gratification for the beautiful humanity on that JetBlue flight - that wonderful planeload of helpers.