I was scheduled to fly out of New York to Florida this past Saturday to attend my brother’s funeral on Sunday (4/3) and Sunday 4/4). On the way to the airport I got a travel alert that my flight had been delayed a half hour. That was fine, I thought. A half hour wasn’t a biggie. But then a few minutes later I got another alert. My flight had been delayed two hours. Then four hours. By the time I arrived at the airport I was alerted that my flight wasn’t going to depart till 2:30AM and I wouldn’t be arriving at my destination in Florida till 5:30 in the morning. In other words, I was going to be exhausted, tired and cranky if and when I ever arrived in Florida to attend my brother’s funeral. Not to worry, thought I. Because in another alert, my flight was completely cancelled due to the horrific thunderstorms inundating the major Florida airports. And to make matters worse, because it was Spring Break, with thousands and thousands of travelers before me, the earliest I could get out of NY was Sunday. My airline could have gotten me on a flight out of Newark, New Jersey but only to Orlando by 5:30PM. I needed to be in Sarasota by 6PM. Mission Impossible and improvable.
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Airlines canceled hundreds of weekend flights and thousands more were delayed as thunderstorms in Florida slowed traffic in one of the country’s top travel destinations during spring break.
More than 6,000 U.S. flights were delayed and 1,930 were canceled on Saturday, according to flight-tracking site FlightAware. Disruptions continue on Sunday with nearly 1,540 canceled and more than twice that number of delays, though Monday schedules appeared to stabilize.
Thunderstorms are especially challenging for airlines because they are harder to predict and plan for compared with other weather like winter storms and hurricanes, during which airlines often cancel flights hours if not days in advance.
So, I never got to attend my brother’s long awaited funeral (he died two years ago from covid and was cremated. because of the pandemic we couldn’t get together as a family and mourn his passing. till now) I never got to see my brother’s in laws, wife, children or grandchildren again. We all know they won’t be keeping in touch with me. They all will go their own way and never will our paths cross again. My SIL will probably remarry or meet someone else and start new family relationships with another extended family. It was my brother who kept us all together. Either way, neither my sister nor I will be included in anything. I accept that.
I just wanted to be immersed in my brother’s life just one more time. Apparently, the powers that be thought otherwise. I’ll never see my brother ever again. I won’t see any of his travel photos or hear anything about his wife, his kids or grandkids. We’ll all just fade away in the sun.
Another painful rung in the ladder of my life.
That’s all it is. That’s all it ever is, isn’t it?
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