I was totally one of those sobbing crying weirdos in the airport today.
Because dad flew out of a tiny little airport I got to watch him (and coach him) go all the way through the x-rays machines and into the waiting area. It is clear to me that mom not only took care of everything, but also that she never bothered to discuss the details with dad. The 3 ounce bottle in a quart sized bag for your carry on thing... Dad finds it incomprehensible. Dad also did not want to classify his poligrip as a liquid since it came in a tube. Dad hopefully came up with a handful of names for the poligrip which would not inspire one to conjure up liquidy images. My favorite was "tooth salve". Also, who goes to the airport with $5 worth of coins in his pockets? Also, trying to get dad to remove the laptop (which he does not know to work) from his carry on and put it in the gray plastic bin? Hahahaha. I love my dad.
The crying part came into play when I had to remind dad to get someone to help him put his suitcase in the overhead bin, and then when he gotten too far for me to call to him I prayed that some kind samaritan would help dad haul his carry on case off of the x-ray machine platform. And when no one did help dad my heart caught in my mouth because I thought he was going over trying to get the suitcase down. Then dad gave one more look back towards where I had been, but I had moved closer, and he didn't see me. I tried to pound on the glass separating us, because I wanted him to know that I hadn't walked away yet, but he didn't hear me. I watched dad put his goofy yellow baseball cap (because he was wearing his different colored yellow cardigan) back on his head, pocket his cell phone, shake the 2 pounds of change from inside his loafer back into his dropping pants pocket, slide into the loafers, reinsert the laptop into his bag and do the old guy shuffle, head down and too big pants dragging under his heels towards the gate.
He never looked so sad, alone or so small before.