I’ve done a lot of flying this past year – quick travels to and from shows (“Because I Can, Sir!”), family visits, NY trips, family reunions, a wedding, and Christmas in Louisiana. I just returned last week from a solo trip to Salt Lake City for nearly a week with the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation. This is not a blog post about the incredible research and upcoming trials, or the amazing power that comes from the interactive convergence of CC patients, their caregivers, AND Doctors and Researchers, but that was a true blessing to be a part of that whole.
I’m writing today about FLIGHT. Flying. Above the ground. Above the clouds and stormy weather.
I remember my first flight as a child. Meeting the pilot, getting my own set of wings (a metal pin), but most of all, looking out of the small window as we were flying through the clouds, and wanting to open the window, collect a part of the cloud in a Mason jar and bring it home to show my friends. I’ve flown many, many times since then, and the wonderment is still there. I enjoy flying above the clouds. It’s a good thing that I don’t have to understand everything with physics and engineering that makes air travel possible. I have faith in the airline – the plane, the pilot, that they will transport me where promised. I have tried and tested this faith each time I step from the jet bridge to the plane.
Whenever I’m seated on the plane, I always look out of the window to see the ground get farther away. I think of my Mammaw (grandmother) and my Granny (Great Grandmother), who I’m sure never flew on a plane. What would they feel, say or do if they were around today? Would they be comfortable ‘jet-setters’? I think of my Granny, being one of the first in her Arkansas county to ride in an automobile. I know that must have been as exhilarating for her as flying is for me.
Like flying, I’m sure I’m uneducated and naïve about the process of dying, but lately, and with my own cancer diagnosis, I’m aware of it every day. I tend to see flying as a soul-transport. There are many I’ve known and loved whose flights have already departed and arrived at their “final destination”. There some friends and family who are now boarding the “next flight” and I find myself lost in that airport, looking at the arrival/departure list. I can’t find my flight number today, but I’ve made it past “security” holding a ticket to ride! I look around and see all my friends and family in that same airport, hopefully ready to go when their flight is called. Trust. Don’t fear. Get on board and buckle up.
Where is your Final Destination? “Pre-boarding those who need extra assistance… Loading priority zone now. We’re going to have to ‘pink tag’ your carry-on baggage, [your worn-out body of a soul-holder] at the jet bridge. Now find your seat and buckle up. Welcome aboard”!
How many souls aboard this flight? Are YOU ready for Take-off?
Somewhat related to this… here’s my latest medical update. (Don’t let this scare you!)
Bill and I are FLYING to NYC today for a pre-surgical consult with MSKCC’s Dr. Park. I have a lymph node that is growing quickly, and we hope Dr. Park can surgically take it out on Monday. I have a fantastic team at Sloan Kettering, and if the surgery is unsuccessful, I know they have plans B, C, etc. (other “connecting flights”) on “Standby” for me. I’m flying high and ready for this; but please pray for us this week. Pray AND sing 70’s songs loudly (with the top down if you drive a convertible). Hug a friend. Talk to a stranger. Vice versa those two. Try to capture a cloud in a jar. Choose to Laugh. Choose to Love. Choose to Live TODAY, Because you Can, Sir!
Don’t worry for me. Although I’m already in the “Terminal”, I’m going to find the Sky Club and hang out for a LONG lay-over! (BTW, they have great snacks in the Sky Club!)
Have you ever imagined that the ancient Prophet Isaiah had some inkling of future air travel? Read the Bible passage below -one of my favorites – and let me know…..
Isaiah 40:26, 28-31
Lift your eyes and look to the heavens. Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the Everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Fly high, my friends.