The offer by JetBlue to fly relatives of Sunday’s massacre at Pulse to Orlando for free was apparently just the beginning of the kindness its team extended to the grieving. Flight attendant Kelly Davis Karas posted on Facebook that she and everyone on board the flight that took the grandmother of Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo from Maine to Florida, including passengers, did something to try to make her difficult journey a little easier.
Ocasio-Capo was a dancer with dreams of making it big in Hollywood. Known to friends as Omar, he was one of the youngest victims, just 20 years old.
Karas wrote that she, fellow flight attendant Melinda Sloop Winstead and other airline employees were by his grandmother’s side every step of the way, before during and after her flight, with a wheelchair, a pillow, blanket, water, and of course, tissues. And that’s not all.
“But here’s where our flight got truly inspiring. I had the idea to pass around a piece of paper to everyone on board and invite them to sign it for this grieving grandmother. I talked it over with Melinda and she started the process from the back of the plane. As we took beverage orders, we whispered a heads up about the plan as we went.
Halfway through, Melinda called me, “Kel, I think you should start another paper from the front. Folks are writing PARAGRAPHS.” So I did. Then we started one in the middle. Lastly, running out of time on our hour and fifteen minute flight, we handed out pieces of paper to everyone still waiting.
When we gathered them together to present them to her, we didn’t have just a sheet of paper covered in names, which is what I had envisioned. Instead, we had page after page after page after page of long messages offering condolences, peace, love and support. There were even a couple of cash donations, and more than a few tears.”
And the love and kindness from those aboard the flight was especially evident when the plane touched down in Orlando, according to Karas. Everyone paused for a moment of silence in memory of the young man and the 48 other victims. And then something unexpected happened…