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.