A few hours later, she called. She was in tears and just beside herself; filled with panic. She was in L.A. and had lost her wallet, which contained her passport and boarding passes. I tried my best to calm her down. She retraced her steps a bit, convinced security to let her into the international terminal to try to talk her way onto the Lima flight with her drivers license and copy of her passport. No go.
She called again; more panicked then ever because the clock was ticking and she knew she wouldn't make her flight. Just as I was trying to calm her down, the other phone rang.
It was Laurie from American Airlines. They had found her wallet. She said she would leave it at the American Airlines ticket counter. Laurie stayed on the line while I tried to get Clara to calm down and go get her passport. By this point, Clara was so upset she couldn't find her way out of the international terminal. Laurie heard me on the line with Clara and said, "Tell her stay where she is, and I will bring it to her." Laurie imagined Clara - a 17 year old with a brand new passport, on her first trip, panicked and about to miss her flight - and went out of her way to cross LAX, convince international security to let her in and find Clara. All of this was above and beyond what she had to do. She was truly an angel, sent to help Clara in her time of need.
Clara still ended up missing her flight and had to navigate her way to an airport hotel at 2:00 a.m. But she managed. And the next day, she returned to the airport, boarded the plane to Lima and then on to Cuzco, Peru.
I'm so proud of my girl for sticking with it and not giving up. And so grateful to Laurie, an angel in an airline uniform, who helped Clara on her way.