On the plane ride back from Bali last month, I committed a small sin.
We were touching down into LAX and she took out her phone to catch the last few drops of wi-fi.
*Tap, tap* on the familiar blue logo. She’s about to update her status. I lean in, propping my elbows on the tray table — which should have been up at this point in the descent.
I watch as she begins to type.
“I’m so glad I got to spend some time with my dad’s side of the family in Taiwan. They remind me so much of him. I miss him so much.”
“…I really need my dad.”
She looks down and closes her eyes, inhaling deeply. She’s crunched into the seat, shoulders hunched. I see her wipe a tear from her right eye. She sniffs.
Now the lights in the cabin are turning from blue to amber.
A little girl is sleeping next to her, tucked into the corner of the seat, barely stirring.
“It’s time to get up, honey. We’re home.”
Just a second ago, she was a daughter, dwelling in her own loss. Defeated, drained and sad.
Now, she is a mother, providing for her daughter. Putting on a strong face. Being a source of energy and love.
I remember seeing my mother cry once. I don’t remember why she was upset, but I remember being terrified that someone so strong also had weakness. I wonder how many times she had to put on a strong face even though she felt broken inside?
Even warriors cry. Returning to fight another day is what makes them who they are.
Everybody is fighting battles we cannot see. This is another reason to be kind to everyone you meet.
As if you needed another reason.
Daniel DiPiazza is a teacher, speaker and writer. Founder of one company, contributor to many. Author of a bestselling book. Roller of jiu jitsu and cannabis. Lover of life.