(Working on my redneck at Daytona, 2010!)
The last few weeks have caused me to take pause and reflect on my 59 plus years. We all do this from time to time, depending on the circumstances that revolve around our lives.
This past February I celebrated my last birthday that started with the number 5. Since that birthday there have been some really significant twists and turns in my life. (The flight of UAL 27 on May 16, 2010 I will write about in a few days!)
It is the bumps, the dead-ends, and the turns of fate intertwined in our lives take that will, from time to time, make us analyze where we have been and where we think that we are going. Additionally the birthdays, the Father’s Days, the anniversaries, and the birthdays of our children and grandchildren cause reflection as well.
So it is this Father’s day that has my twisted mind’s attention.
It didn’t seem too long ago that I was full of pride when my first born son came into this world. Then in just four short years my second son came bouncing into the family. Times were good and there was a long road that lay ahead of this, then, young Air Force pilot.
Back in those days the mirror reflected, what I perceived, to be the truth. There in front of me in the mirror, staring back at me, was always this baby-faced, barely needed to shave, very lucky young man. I would ponder what the future would hold for me and my family. In my twenties and bullet-proof, I didn’t fully comprehend that the long road of life that lay before me really is a journey, not a “guided tour”!
The bumps, the grinds, divorce, the bankruptcy of my employer Eastern Air Lines, the loss of my job because of that bankruptcy, a few bad decisions along the way, and at least a few very good decisions, have guided me to this point in my life’s journey. It is those experiences, like them or not, that make up part of “my life”. I took the cards that were dealt me, added a hit or two, then placed my wager, and played the hand!
Now that I have been on my life’s journey, and quite frankly most of it is behind me now, I can reflect back on many things. Some of my journey I take great pride in, my two boys, being an Air Force officer and pilot, now an airline pilot, and some things that I would just as soon forget! Nevertheless, sometimes I still feel like I need to make a name for my self, even though nothing is going to change who I am! But those times are far and few between these days.
Notwithstanding, when I look into that mirror these days, I realized the trouble with that mirror is that it doesn’t always tell the whole truth. It doesn’t show what is deep inside or read between the lines! It is only a reflection of the surface, not a true indication of who I am. I have found out that there is a lot more to life than just meets the eye! I must say that I have learned that lesson the hard way!
So with much self introspection, I have one thing to say to everyone that has followed along with me. To all my friends, and most especially my family, I would like to thank you for riding along on my life’s journey! It has not always been a smooth road, but nonetheless, it has been exciting and interesting!
I was a young pilot when I flew in on my wings, and I will be an old pilot when I am gone!