LouAnn’s Last Flight

For 34 years, LouAnn Alexander worked as a flight attendant. But at the age of 58, she received a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.

Soon, the vivacious mother of two and grandmother-to-be was making plans for hospice care.

Her older brother Rex Ridenoure was flying to see Alexander when he asked the flight attendant—an old colleague of Alexander’s, as it turned out—if he could speak to the passengers.

He talked about his sister, even passed his phone around the plane so they could see photos of her. He then handed out napkins and asked if they’d write a little something for Alexander. Ninety-six passengers responded.

Some drew pictures. One man and his seatmate created flowers out of napkins and swizzle sticks. But mostly, there were warm words:

“Your brother made me love you, and I don’t even know you.”


“My favorite quote from when I had two brain tumors: ‘You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.’”

Alexander later died, but Ridenoure never forgot the compassion shown that day.

“I’m just amazed that given the opportunity, even total strangers will reach out and show a lot of empathy and concern,” he said.

Source: Arizona Republic

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