Maggie Musgrave was sitting, alone, in Miami Worldwide Airport, crying.
It was a Sunday night in summer season 2011. Thunderstorms have been raging over Miami, and the airport departure space was getting more and more crowded, with stranded vacationers combating for seats as aircraft after aircraft was grounded.
Maggie, then 28, was on her means house to Washington DC after spending the weekend in Florida at her bachelorette social gathering. Whereas she was grateful to her mates for organizing a enjoyable few days’ celebrations, now the hangover was kicking in and one thing worse was lingering beneath: Maggie had a sinking feeling that her upcoming wedding ceremony was an enormous mistake.
“I used to be considering I used to be making the unsuitable determination getting married,” Maggie tells CNN Travel at present. “I bear in mind being within the airport and considering, ‘Oh, goodness, I don’t know if that is the best transfer.’ And being actually emotional.”
As she wiped away tears, Maggie heard the sound of barking. She regarded as much as see an excitable canine lapping at her knees.
“I used to be like, ‘Oh gosh, I may actually use a pet from this canine,’” Maggie recollects. She greeted the animal enthusiastically, giving him a stomach rub.
Proper behind the canine was a lady – seemingly his proprietor – speeding as much as apologize.
“Oh hello, I’m sorry!” mentioned the stranger.
“No it’s high quality, it’s high quality,” mentioned Maggie, nonetheless petting the canine, who was now licking her hand fortunately.
“I’m Cindy,” mentioned the lady. “He’s Deniro,” she added, gesturing to her canine.
“Like Robert?” requested Maggie.
Cindy defined that sure, her canine was named for actor Robert De Niro – she’d grown up loving “The Godfather” films. Maggie advised Cindy she additionally had a canine with a cinematic namesake: Scarlett O’Hara, after the protagonist of “Gone With the Wind.”
Instantaneously, the 2 ladies established a straightforward rapport. Maggie and Cindy have been the identical age, each canine lovers, each movie followers. And so they have been each ready for a similar grounded flight again house to Washington DC.
“We hit it off instantly,” Cindy tells CNN Journey at present.
When Cindy crossed paths with Maggie on the airport, she was additionally questioning a few of her life selections. Cindy was working a job she hated, determined to go away however apprehensive that discovering one thing new wouldn’t be straightforward. She’d earned her Grasp’s diploma in the course of the recession, and jobs nonetheless felt sparse.
“I truly had this desperation – ‘What’s my future going to appear like?’” Cindy recollects.
Maggie and Cindy chatted as they waited for his or her flight, each ladies discovering solace in each other’s firm.
Cindy had observed Maggie’s tears – “she collected herself after I approached to seize Deniro,” she recollects – however didn’t press for particulars on what was happening.
“I didn’t wish to appear too intrusive. I figured if we speak it can get her thoughts off of issues,” Cindy recollects.
Positive sufficient, Maggie discovered chatting to Cindy, who was open, pleasant and exuded kindness, a welcome distraction from her worries in regards to the upcoming wedding ceremony. Plus, Deniro the canine was charming and candy, providing consolation and cuddles.
And when Cindy talked about the problems along with her job, Maggie advised her she would possibly be capable to assist Cindy begin over. She labored as a recruiter at a staffing company – discovering individuals the proper function was her job.
The 2 ladies spent over an hour deep in dialog. And when the flight was ultimately known as, they swapped particulars – promising to get again in contact once they have been house in DC.
“I simply met this actually great woman,” Cindy advised her boyfriend when he picked her up at Ronald Reagan Nationwide Airport.
Maggie additionally gushed about her new pal to her then-fiancé, though she unnoticed the context.
“I didn’t inform him that I used to be crying, after I met her, about not desirous to marry him.”
Again in DC, Maggie and Cindy began messaging forwards and backwards. They organized to reunite the next week, canine in tow.
“We met up for lunch with our pups, who additionally hit it off,” recollects Cindy.
Chatting over Lebanese meals, the 2 ladies picked up the place they’d left off on the airport.
Their rapport, says Maggie, felt “tremendous pure.”
Because the lunch stretched on, the 2 solely grew extra snug in each other’s presence. And Deniro and Scarlett O’Hara adopted swimsuit.
“When the canine linked and we realized how shut we dwell to one another in DC, that solely strengthened it,” says Maggie.
Maggie and Cindy realized they have been alike in small methods – they each love fall, calling the season the place the leaves flip auburn their favourite of yr – and in larger methods – they each share the identical Catholic religion, for instance.
“Maggie’s power was similar to my power,” provides Cindy. “We had a number of widespread pursuits and nonetheless have – we each aligned in our political ideas and we each aligned on the varieties of films we favored.
“And naturally the pet life. We by no means discovered one thing to not discuss. She’s very extroverted. I’m extroverted. So it simply labored out.”
Maggie and Cindy agreed to satisfy once more.
Time handed, and these meet-ups grew to become increasingly frequent.
Maggie was dedicated to serving to Cindy discover a new job. Each time one thing got here up that may very well be appropriate, she’d ahead it Cindy’s means.
Regardless of her reservations, Maggie went by way of along with her wedding ceremony. Later down the road, she and her husband separated. Cindy supported Maggie all through.
“I feel it helped down the highway that I used to be an outlet that didn’t know him, for Maggie to speak about her emotions and her conditions after she was married,” says Cindy. “I used to be there to lend an ear.”
Cindy calls their conversations a “judgment-free zone” and stresses this went each methods.
“We may very a lot speak to one another actually.”
A couple of yr after assembly Cindy on the airport, Maggie began working as an inhouse recruiter. A job got here up at her firm that she thought Cindy can be excellent for, and he or she steered her pal apply.
To Cindy and Maggie’s mutual delight, Cindy received the job. The 2 ladies grew to become work colleagues, and have been capable of spend much more time collectively.
“We might have lunches and have fun one another’s birthdays and have our espresso – perhaps means too many throughout Pumpkin Spice Latte season,” says Cindy.
“Cindy truly threw me a party one yr on the workplace,” recollects Maggie. “It was pumpkin themed.”
In return, Maggie baked Cindy a birthday carrot cake, figuring out it was her pal’s favourite. Maggie navigated the DC Metro on a freezing day in February, cake in hand, to shock Cindy on the workplace.
Maggie and Cindy’s lives grew to become increasingly intertwined, with Maggie changing into shut with a lot of Cindy’s mates.
“Her power is infectious,” says Cindy. “Each one among my mates, all of them get on with Maggie and so they love her.”
After her divorce, Maggie began relationship once more. When she was vetting potential companions, she’d take the lads on double dates with Cindy and Cindy’s boyfriend.
Deniro and Scarlett O’Hara additionally continued having fun with one another’s firm, and Maggie and Cindy would usually canine sit for one another.
When Cindy received engaged in 2015, there was “no query” that Maggie can be amongst her bridesmaids. By then, the stranger she’d met on the airport was one among her closest mates.
“I wished a very powerful and supportive individuals in my life to be my bridesmaids. The individuals who made me really feel proud about myself,” says Cindy. “Maggie was one among them, since she had not solely change into such a great pal through the years, however was additionally the rationale for my profession and success.”
“I used to be ecstatic to be Cindy’s bridesmaid,” recollects Maggie. “Her mates adore her and being the latest pal to the group was humbling and exquisite.”
In the present day, Maggie and Cindy now not work collectively, and Maggie now not lives in DC.
However whereas the 2 ladies don’t see each other as usually as they used to, their friendship stays robust. Each time Maggie and Cindy reunite, they really feel like no time has handed. And once they’re aside, they root for one another from afar.
“Irrespective of the place she is, I like the concept we’re there – we’re at all times going be there,” says Maggie. “And I like that, it’s easy.”
Cindy nonetheless lives in DC, now along with her husband and her younger daughter. Maggie was there at Cindy’s child bathe, to assist her welcome her youngster. In the present day, Cindy loves her job, and credit her present profession success to Maggie.
“Who is aware of the place I’d be at present – and if I’d have had any of the identical sense of accomplishment – had we by no means crossed paths,” she says.
Since Maggie moved away from DC, she’s lived in Chicago, New York and Florida. Most just lately, she moved to Los Angeles. She’s at the moment on a six-month sabbatical touring along with her associate in his camper van, visiting American ski resorts.
“It’s fascinating, as a result of I believed my life was going to take a totally totally different trajectory,” says Maggie, reflecting on assembly Cindy on the eve of her marriage.
“I didn’t maintain the husband, stored the pal,” she provides, laughing.
“My life has been constantly inconsistent however the issues that keep true are my genuine friendships, my ‘framily.’ I by no means really feel misplaced as a result of I’ve Cindy in my life.”
Sadly Deniro and Scarlett O’Hara have each handed away, however Maggie and Cindy supported one another by way of these losses, and revel in sharing recollections of their canine with one another. And so they nonetheless credit score Deniro for bringing them collectively within the first place.
Each Maggie and Cindy say their random airport assembly and subsequent enduring friendship taught them the significance of working towards openness, particularly when touring.
“You by no means understand how that’s going to alter your life, or how that’s going to prove,” says Cindy. “I nonetheless assume it’s loopy that one among my closest mates was somebody I met on the airport.”
“Be susceptible,” agrees Maggie. “I used to be crying. I didn’t even know if I wished to satisfy anybody new.”
The 2 additionally stress the significance of following up in the event you meet a possible pal in your travels.
“Taking the initiative after, in the event you really feel that connection,” says Maggie. “It doesn’t matter what age you’re – don’t be embarrassed. E mail that particular person again, be excited, say sure.”
Whereas Maggie and Cindy have shared many particular recollections over their decade of friendship, they’ve by no means traveled collectively, and haven’t sat aspect by aspect in an airport since they first met within the Miami Worldwide Airport departures corridor 12 years in the past. They each say they’d like to go on an journey collectively in the future.
“I do know Maggie and I’ll proceed to share recollections till we’re in our 90s or older,” says Cindy. “Maybe we’ll journey the world collectively after we retire. See what different probability encounters we might come throughout whereas ready in airports.”
Prime picture of Cindy Jarrin, left, and Maggie Musgrave, proper, courtesy Brittany DeFrehn