My only Christmas wish – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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My only Christmas wish

It was two days, three hours and 45 minutes before I would be back home in Bermuda! I mean, college life was great, but there is no place like home. My ticket had been booked since August, and my bags had been packed for the past two days; I was ready. I was looking forward to the feast that awaited me; honey roasted ham, turkey, stuffing, macaroni and cheese and the works. Just thinking about it made me drool. Most importantly, however, I was ready to be reunited with my parents after completing my first semester as a Freshman at St. John's University. Every day I checked the weather to ensure that there were no obstacles to hinder my travels. It was December 24th; the day I finally got to return home! The airlines advise that travellers arrive at least two hours before their flight, but I was there three and a half hours before my flight. As I sat, listening intently for my flight number to be called, I overheard a woman on the phone with her husband, telling him that she might not make it home for Christmas due of a severe and unexpected snow storm. The storm was headed straight for New York, specifically the surrounding area of JFK Airport, the airport that I was scheduled to depart from. Sure enough, the announcement was made over the airport intercom that flight 757 to Bermuda, the last flight for the evening, was cancelled until further notice. I automatically broke down into tears, flabbergasted by this news. All I wanted this Christmas was to spend it with my family, and my Christmas wish wouldn't be coming true this year. Immediately I called my parents to inform them of the terrible news, while I broke down in tears some more. They comforted me and assured me that I will get home safe and sound, which was the most vital factor to them. After two hours had passed of waiting for any updates, a very robust and masculine voice started to sing Christmas carols to brighten the mood. Before I could look up to discover who the voice belonged to, several other voices had chimed in. As they began to sing 'All I want for Christmas', everyone added their own sentiment to replace 'is my two front teeth'. One voice sang, 'All I want for Christmas is my wife and kids', another proclaimed, 'All I want for Christmas is a dark and stormy', and another, 'All I want for Christmas is some Ginger Beer, then I could wish a Merry Christmas'. I suddenly felt at home. Suddenly, being stuck in an airport with a bunch of Bermudian strangers didn't seem so bad. It was now the time that my flight was scheduled to depart, and still no word from the airport officials. Another half hour passed, and an attendant announced on the intercom that the storm had started to change course, and they will attempt to find a plane that was stable enough to fly. She then proceeded to announce that when a plane is found, the persons who had booked their tickets first will have first priority in boarding. I went into panic mode. My ticket was booked in August, but there was no telling when the other passengers had booked theirs. The ladies that sat across from me chatted amongst themselves, comparing the time of their ticket purchases. I heard one lady state, 'I don't know about you all, but my ticket was booked all de' way back in May!' The others had booked theirs in August and September. Good news had finally come. There was one airliner that was completely damage free and stable enough to make the flight to Bermuda. As always, with good news, bad news is certain to follow. The downfall was that only 60 people can be seated on this craft, as it was a jet. Additionally, after this flight departed, all other flights to Bermuda would resume on Christmas night. The attendant proceeded to announce the names in the order in which the tickets were purchased. 'Nicole Smith, Brandon Tucker, Shirlene Wade, Gerald Beach…….' The longer I waited to hear my name, the more I doubted returning home in time for Christmas. I counted the names called as they were announced. The number was already up to 50. '…Jacqueline Murray, Laurie Spence, Eugene Cox……… Jubilee Edness, & Charles Brown. I'm sorry ladies and gentlemen but the 60 seats have been filled, but I will continue to update you on any progress that is made. Once again, on behalf of American Airlines we apologise for the inconvenience.' My name was called! I couldn't believe it! As I boarded the jet I said a prayer thanking God for allowing me to be home with my family for Christmas and asked for safe travels. The flight to Bermuda was a bit choppy but we landed safely at 11:45pm. I hardly blinked at all during the entire flight. The two hours that it took to fly home seemed to last forever. They say a watched pot never boils, but my pot had finally boiled over; as the jet finally touched down on the runway in Bermuda. I was home! As I headed out of the airport, I frantically searched for the familiar faces of my parents. Behind the glass doors I recognised the welcoming smiles of my parents. I screamed and ran to them as the tears built up in the wells my eyes. At that moment, the other passengers and their waiting families disappeared and all I could see were my loving parents, arms held wide open. Then and there, at LF Wade International Airport, at exactly 12:00am on December 25th I was reunited with my parents, engulfed in hugs and kisses. My Christmas wish, and my only Christmas wish, had come true.

Jubilee-Ann Edness