I arrived at Dulles at 5:30am for my 7:00am flight. I got on the plane which already started boarding at 6:30, a half hour before take off. I took a seat next to Pradip, my CIO, who was extremely relieved to see me. Apparently, John (an old Navy Diver and my CEO) and Pradip (a young successful brilliant Indian) had been waiting for the plane since 5:00 am. John had asked Pradip if I had ever flown before. To their relief, I had.
The flight to San Fransisco was wonderful. I watched Slumdog Millionaire and Doubt. The first is a tale of redemption through suffering, and the second is a tale of a struggling Priest freeing us to question God and speak with Him honestly.
Doubt can be a bond as powerful as certainty.
– Hoffman, in “Doubt”
Only God could have known how fitting both of those movies would turn out to be. In the film ‘Doubt’ the main character, a priest played by Hoffman says, “Doubt can be a bond as powerful as certainty.” I had no clue how true this line would become in my life.
Pradip and I talked the rest of the time about our trip and the business side of things and looked at pictures of his kids.
As soon as the plane landed I turned on my cell phone and texted this to Pam . . .
When I hit send, my iPhone sent the messages and retrieved all my text messages I had missed while I was in the air. Pam had sent me two messages that came in instantly . . .
Pradip and I were standing up, just starting to get our bags from the overhead bin. I called Pam immediately. Pam was quick, and sounded horrible.
“The baby died this morning”, she told me. “I got real sick, went to the hospital, and they tried to find the heart beat. There was none. The baby is gone.”
“O.K. I’ll call you right back. I love you.”
I looked at Pradip in shock and said, “Our baby died. Pam’s in the hospital and I need to go back to York.”
Pradip was amazing. He said that we needed to get off the plane and get me back home. I was frozen as I grabbed my bags out of the overhead bin. I got off the plane before Pradip, and John was waiting for us checking his blackberry. When I saw John I burst into tears and apologized: I’m about to walk into hell with my wife.
John instantly removed his “CEO” hat, and put on his gentleman’s hat. “Money isn’t as issue,” he said, “we’re getting you back on that plane. You’re going home.” Pradip was so full of compassion. They were both thrown into such an awkward position. I felt horrible that the company paid all this money for me to fly out to California, only to send me right back again. John and Pradip, they didn’t feel bad at all. I wasn’t an employee to them. I was a person, and a person that needed to get back home.
Pradip went right up to the counter and got me back on the same plane I came in on. It was going right back to where it came from.
I sat down and wept. I was going to go home and find out if we had a boy or a girl. I just never imagined it would be like this. Pam was 34 weeks pregnant.