China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE -

mes­sages with a “air­planes are sta­tis­ti­cally safer than cars, mom”.

I know that. But in the wake of bad news, fly­ing be­comes an emo­tional re­sponse. On that trans-Pa­cific flight this week, ev­ery lit­tle tremor that shook the plane had me con­vincedmy last mo­ment had ar­rived.

Even safely on the ground, I had the hotelTVchan­nel con­stantly tuned in to the news, and stayed logged on to sev­eral so­cial me­dia sites to get the lat­est up­dates onMH370.

My imag­i­na­tion ran wild andmy trep­i­da­tion was fu­eled by all sorts of ru­mors and con­jec­tures that came crawl­ing out the wood­work.

We were all afraid, not sure if the flight had crashed in ap­par­ent fair weather, or if the plane had been hi­jacked, or had be­come the tar­get of a ter­ror­ist at­tack. De­bris was spotted on the sea off Viet­nam. Some prankster even posted a pic­ture of a plane that had crash-landed on the ocean.

All were later proved un­founded, and friends and rel­a­tives of the miss­ing went back to the trauma of hop­ing, pray­ing and wait­ing, frus­trated by the in­abil­ity to find clo­sure.

Sadly, the trauma would have been less if they knew­for sure.

For the rest of us who have to con­tinue our jour­neys, fears old and new­con­tinue to plague us against all rea­son. Some­times, though, it is those who wait for us at home that suf­fer the most.

“Be wait­ing for you to come home,” my nor­mally re­cal­ci­trant hus­band mes­saged­me­just be­fore I got on boardmy flight, and added a heart sticker. “Safe jour­ney, mom,” my son’s text mes­sage lit up the phone screen right be­fore I switched it off. Con­tact the writer at paulined@chi­

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