Thursday, November 15, 2007

I think it all began with my mother's first plane trip.

See, for the first 44 years of my life, my mom declared she would never, ever get into an airplane. Never. Ever. If you tried to talk her into flying, she'd just laugh, turn away, and say, "That'll be the day you get me into a plane."

Eventually, after forty years of anything like that, you just give-up trying to change a person's mind.

But in 2003 my brother, who lives in Texas, invited my parents out to visit his family. The only catch? He would only pay for plane tickets. Not the train. Not for gas and supplies for a car trip. No, they'd have to come by plane.

Amazingly, my parents accepted his offer. (Technically, my dad had flown during his Navy days and wasn't adverse to flying.) But to think of my mom traveling in the sky! Well, it shocked all of us.

Funny thing... both my parents, before boarding the plane discussed how they'd lived good, fulfilling lives and were ready for Heaven if the plane crashed. They'd set all their affairs in order to make things easier for us kids in case they never returned.


Anyway, after their trip, both ways, my parents called me. And sheesh, you'd have thought flying was a brand new invention and my mom was one of the first to fly. She raved about how quickly they got all the way down to Texas. She loved the ease of the whole thing. It was a million times better than driving (or in her case, riding alongside my dad while he drove). And she couldn't wait until they could fly once more to someplace. Anyplace. She just wanted to travel in such luxury again.

Of course, I stared wide-eyed at the phone and thought, "Who is this woman?"

Anyway, I received an email from my sister today, you know, the one in Hawaii on her honeymoon. The one who took our recently-widowed mother along with her. And do you know what she wrote? "Mom loves snorkeling!"

Good gracious. My mouth dropped open. And I thought, "What next?"

I mean, my mother has always been the quiet, supportive woman behind my dad. A cheerful, helpful, pastor's wife, someone who's always been too shy to get her driver's licence because her driver's ed. teacher in high school swore at her. And she never quite got over it.

But now she's vacationing in Hawaii. And snorkeling.

I love it! And as I said, I think it all began with overcoming her fear of flying. Oh, how many of our fears hold us back from a whole other life we could be living! And what kinds of adventures we could all be having if we'd just take a deep breath and step past those dark fears which keep us all bound up.

That one brave step may just unleash a whole truckload of courage for anything we may face in the days and years to come. Who knows? But unless we take that first step, we will never know for certain.


Jammie J. said...

When working on my anxiety, I often repeated to myself that the only thing holding me back was myself.

Oh, and snorkeling is pretty awesome in Hawaii. I guess she must have some good visibility... :)

Hilmarose said...

'That one brave step may just unleash a whole truckload of courage for anything we may face in the days and years to come. Who knows? But unless we take that first step, we will never know for certain."

all I can say is hhhmmmm, Food for thought here. :)

Maggie Ann said...

I'm just like your Mother used to be about flying. I've never flown...and don't intend too really. Once we planned on flying and after a short time, my stomach started acting up. The flight plans were cancelled and my stomach got better oh so quickly. Who knows though, that 'one brave step' may be just around the corner for me too. Good for your Mom....snorkeling. wow! And...I'm sorry about your Dad passing sympathy! ~~about Beverly Cleary...I just read 'Jean & Johnny' today...sometimes I think those old books are the best. Happy Thanksgiving to you & yours! said...

You just never know! When my Grandfather died, many years ago, my Grandma, who was in her 60s, soon experienced her own serious health issues. After a long, slow recovery, she took a new and different lease on life and did things she had never done before - dance lessons, travel, etc. Nothing fancy, she didn't have the $$, but she packed a lot of enjoyment into the remaining 18 years of her life. I hope your mom continues to find new adventures, too.

daisymarie said...

The things my mom learned to do while my dad was dying amazed me, but not nearly as much as her accomplishments after that. I have often commented that she's not the woman who raised me, and that I like her now quite a bit better.

Sometimes when I reflect on the change for her, I come back to what she perceived her role to be. We've discussed it, too. When Daddy was alive she was his wife. Being a mom took a backseat to being a wife. The examples of the truth in her life regarding this are many. When her role changed so did she.

DiddleDaddleDesigns said...

Way to go mom.


Saija said...

one of my aunts had a fear of flying - then she promised to come visit me for my 50th birthday ... she lives in Finland ... WELL, she did come and a whole new world opened up for her too!

i'm so glad your mom is venturing out - does a heart good, doesn't it? :o)

Judy said...

I still don't want to fly. It seems so unnatural. I have flown, but I do not like it. Not one little bit.

And, thank you for solving the problem about why I HATE to drive (truly, i have a lot of issues!). My driver's ed. instructor swore at me, too. NO ONE had ever sworn at me before that, and frankly, I was shocked! I DID almost kill us all, but I was more shocked that he swore!

I'm glad you're back! It gives me hope that I shall return, too.

Donetta said...

This is so wonderful!