Monday, October 12, 2015

Keep Calm and Fly On (Part 1)



The decimated crank case of the Cessna 414 aircraft that blew out on us in mid air
September 27th, 2015 (2 Sundays ago)

Our family was flying home from my Grandma's funeral 

when I heard my Dad the pilot

dryly request that his co-pilot (my brother)

"find the nearest airport."

I saw the flames spitting out of the engine

right beside my window.


All I could think was

NOT AGAIN.

This cannot be happening again.


~~~

The decimated crank case of the Piper Malibu that also blew out on us in mid air
August 4, 2003

Twelve years ago I was sitting in this very spot -

rear-facing, on the right -

when I heard my Dad utter the unthinkable:

"We're not going to make it."

Every moment and gesture of those next 10 minutes


exists in timeless auto-replay in my mind


and body.


It's a story I have told a hundred times.


It's a story that is literally branded on my forehead --


in the scars that I chose to keep that day.


I chose,


when my Dad came to my hospital bed and choked out,


"Just look what I've done to your beautiful face...

do you want me to get coverage for plastic surgery?"

"No" was my vehement answer.

I never wanted to forget.




I don't take Miracles lightly.


I remember living in an altered state of rapture

for months and months afterward.

My feet scarcely touched the ground.


All was Gratitude.


I remember wishing the scars would remain 


deep and bold forever


so that every person would wonder and ask,


so that I could tell again and again


the glorious living nightmare of falling towards death


for ten long minutes.


The soul-crackling prayer, "God, please save my family." 


The final regrets, the bracing.


The full body impact and thunderous sound of dense cedars 

snapping our aircraft.




How we all, somehow, scrambled out 

from the upside down plane,

dashed and bloody, 

dazed and alive

And how being alive smells --

of strangely hot and sweet maple syrup all mingled up 

with blood and av gas

How it tastes -- of the fragrant maple nectar oozing

down my face, embalming my eyes and lips in

a surreal, life-giving kiss

And how it sounds -- the bumblebees...

Being alive sounds like bumblebees

calmly at work in the wildflowers and the grass --

Yes, the tickle of grass is the caress of


what being alive feels like

This amazing, warm, solid grass on the ground 

that holds my whole body


like it loves me so much 


it just couldn't let me go. 



~~~


That is part of my story.


The full story of the crash is best told by the pilot himself, so stay tuned for that and more pictures at the end.




But first...


The story that I'm really here to share.



The new story...

The one that cracked open 

during our most recent emergency landing 


just 2 weeks ago.



As you can well imagine...


To be back


in the air


on a burning wing, 


and a used up prayer


was simply


  incomprehensible 


to me.



I had a husband and three children to get home to this time.


My hands and heart were trembling as I sent texts,


-I love you.

-Looks like we are doing an emergency landing.

-Trouble with one engine potentially.


-Dad wants to check it out.

-Engine on fire.  Pray!!!!!!!!!

 ~~~

Here is where 


the moral of this story becomes even more marvellous,


even more miraculous,



than surviving.


It's that moment 


in the re-living


when there is an unexpected 


revealing.


The moment of revelation that comes

when you revisit your old places 


like a curious tourist


and see something


from a new angle.




Wow Ben, you really do look like a tourist!  That is my brother Ben the day after the crash

What I have extracted


from the wreckage,


and transacted

over time


is


a certain 

secret 
something

so powerful


that you are going to have to wait 

until tomorrow to hear all about it.


Alright, I will tell you a tiny bit

before I go off to bed.


(It is almost 3:00 a.m. you know!)


~~~


You know that little Black Box


that contains the mysteries of flight?


I FOUND IT.


And there is so much inside it that I have had to split it into


a 3 part blog.



This is what I found in the Black Box 


two weeks ago today:



The power to keep calm and fly on.  

 The faith to be prudently fearless.

The courage to get back in the sky.

  
and the resilience of spirit 

to lead an unshakeable life.


Where did I find all this treasure?


Smack dab in the cockpit


where it's been all along. 


In my Dad.









3 comments:

  1. Again....you need to put this and whatever comes after, in a book that this, your gift, can be shared, appreciated, be wondered over, by the rest of the world, not just the tiny portion of the fb world!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Lynette! I will eventually get it out there! Thanks for reading, and so glad you enjoy

      Delete
  2. Amazing post! Praise God thank you for the testimony Ginette, can't wait to read
    More! Love Dan

    ReplyDelete