This I Believe

Carol - Roswell, Georgia
Entered on January 6, 2007
Age Group: 65+
Themes: death

I believe that despite the actions of some people, the average human being possesses the qualities necessary to make living good. And, I believe that despite unfortunate circumstances, most people recover from distress.

Twenty years ago, after much procrastination and rescheduling, I had my annual mammogram. The telephone call from the doctor a few days later was not one I wanted to receive. However, we “made a date” to meet for surgery in two weeks.

My son, a US Navy test pilot and graduate of the United State Naval Academy, was coming home that weekend for his high school class reunion. “Take care, Mom, and I’ll see you when you get out of the hospital.” Those were the last words I heard my son speak.

My surgery was on Monday morning, Mike died on Tuesday morning. He was testing and Army airplane and crashed on takeoff. My world crashed at the same time. “Not Mike, not my Mike,” I screamed when the call came from his bride of thirteen months. “It should have been me,” I added as my room filled with nurses. Before long the room and the corridor outside gave forth with the murmurings of nearly 50 people who rushed to the hospital to extend their sympathies and offer their love.

Three days later, against my doctor’s wishes, I checked myself out of the hospital and went with friends and family to Mike’s memorial service at Patuxent River Naval Air Station. Fine young men from our Navy, Army, Air Force, and some from foreign countries attended the service and gave me their pledge of following in his direction of patriotism and loyalty. There was another service two days later at our little church in Atlanta. My body took a back seat to the pain that was in my heart, and after ten days of sharing the news and receiving compassion, I knew it was time to get back on the road and back to work.

Every meeting brought forth the question, “Whose wings are those?”…the ones I wore over my heart every day. “My son’s” I’d answer. “Oh, where is he?” was always the next question. “He’s in God’s wing now.” It became a downer in my business day, so I stopped wearing the wings. But never a day passes that I dont’ somehow get a chance to tout his goodness.

Yes, I am healing, and people are good to me. Twenty years have passed, and though there will always be a hole in my heart, I believe that when faced with disaster, distress, or disease, we can all make a difference by pushing on and taking one day at a time. This I believe.